Over the weekend, a federal panel in Louisiana issued an emergency stay to one of President Biden’s vaccine rules. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had formerly filed suit in a district court against the executive order requiring federal contractors to fully vaccinate or test negative for COVID on a weekly basis.
Last week, Paxton got onboard with a suit involving more than a dozen petitioners primarily from the Gulf Coast. Their coordinated effort involves, among some additional companies, the states of Louisiana, Utah, Mississippi, and South Carolina. A number of similar suits have been filed in appellate courts across the country.
The temporary stay is good news for plaintiffs who claim the federal government is violating constitutional principles. However, the momentary halt has yet to save anybody from losing their job, as the OSHA rule does not take effect until January 4, when the agency will begin fining companies that violate the policy.
The court’s decision was not a formal opinion on the constitutionality of the mandate, but rather a brief halt on the rule’s effect pending further litigation. The federal government has until the end of Monday, November 15, to respond to the petition.
Lawmakers in Tennessee recently passed measures protecting businesses from the mandate in three days of session. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a five-day special session to do the same. Meanwhile, pressure from the Texas GOP continues to build on Gov. Greg Abbott for a fourth special session.