A federal appeals court suspended the Biden administration’s new vaccine requirement for private companies, delivering a major blow for one of the White House’s signature attempts to increase the number of vaccinations to corral the pandemic.
The decision was issued by a panel of three judges appointed by Republican presidents in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The judges wrote that there was “cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the mandate,” staying the order while the court assesses it in more depth.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed Friday by a group of plaintiffs including Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), part of a wave of lawsuits against the order from mostly Republican-aligned groups and politicians.
Landry on Saturday called it a “major win for the liberty of job creators and their employees.”
“The Court’s action not only halts Biden from moving forward,” he said, calling the requirement unlawful, “but also commands the judicious review we sought.”
The unsigned, four-paragraph order from the panel temporarily stops Biden’s mandate but is not a ruling on the merits of the policy. The court gave the Justice Department until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to the challenger’s request for a more permanent halt to the mandate.
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