Texas to challenge constitutionality of Biden administration’s new Covid vaccine mandate in lawsuit

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  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a petition for review in the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging the validity of the administration’s order.
  • Paxton said he would soon file a motion to withhold the mandate from the court.
  • Labor Department’s top legal adviser Seema Nanda said in a statement Friday that the Biden administration is “fully prepared to defend this standard in court.”

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Texas challenged the Biden administration on Friday over its COVID vaccine mandate for private businesses, arguing that the new federal requirements are unconstitutional.

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State Attorney General Ken Paxton filed petition for review With the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the validity of the administration’s mandate. Paxton said he would soon file a motion to withhold the mandate from the court.

paxton, in a statement, calling the vaccine mandate “a breathtaking abuse of federal power” that is “flatly unconstitutional”. He argued that the mandate goes beyond the “limited power and specific responsibilities” of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which announced new workplace rules earlier this week.

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Attorney generals for Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah joined the petition, in addition to several companies.

OSHA, which ensures workplace safety for the Department of Labor, has developed a vaccine mandate under emergency authorization that allows the agency to shortcut the normal process for issuing new worker safety standards, which often takes years. Huh.

Labor Department’s top lawyer Seema Nanda said in a statement Friday that the Biden administration is “fully prepared to defend this standard in court.”

Labor Department lawyer Nanda said, “The Occupational Safety and Health Act explicitly empowers OSHA to act quickly in an emergency, where the agency learns that workers are at serious risk and a measure is taken to protect their safety.” A new standard is necessary.”

Nanda said the emergency protection standard “prohibits any state or local requirements that restrict or limit the right of an employer to require vaccination, face coverings, or testing.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bans vaccine mandate through a executive Order last month. Abbott had asked the state legislature to replace his order with a law, but the law failed to gain traction with lawmakers after several business groups opposed the state ban on the vaccine mandate.

Abbott also barred local governments from requiring people to wear masks. executive Order in May. Several school districts sued Abbott over that order.

“The question we always have and that we ask Republicans is: Why are they getting in the way? Why are they getting in the way and trying to save lives? That’s just what we’re trying to do,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Thursday.

The vaccine mandate, which applies to businesses with 100 or more employees, It took effect Friday after publication in the Federal Register.

The mandate requires businesses to ensure their employees have received their vaccines by January 4, or submit a negative COVID test at least once a week. Unaffiliated workers will have to start wearing masks indoors by December 5. The mandate covers 84 million employees in the private sector.

Paxton and Almost Every Other Republican Attorney General in America Threatened to use “every legal option available” to halt the mandate in a letter to President Joe Biden in September.

Republicans and some industry lobbyists have argued that the current threat from Covid is not as serious a threat as the Biden administration has said. They point to rising levels of vaccination and natural immunity in the US from past infections, as well as mitigation measures already taken by many businesses in the workplace.

“A virus that has killed more than 745,000 Americans with more than 70,000 new cases per day is clearly a health threat that poses a serious threat to workers,” Nanda said during a press briefing on Thursday.

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