A U.S. court has suspended President Joe Biden’s plans to make the Govt-19 vaccine mandatory for tens of thousands of U.S. workers.
The law, proposed by the U.S. government, will come into force in early January, requiring employees of private companies with more than 100 employees to be fully vaccinated against the disease or to be tested weekly.
But the court found that there were “serious constitutional and legal issues” in the provision. The Biden government has until Monday (8/11) to appeal.
Five Republican-led states – Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah – as well as private companies and religious groups have filed lawsuits against the law.
The president has been accused of going beyond his authority.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Laundry called the court ruling “a great victory for the freedom of job creators and their employees.”
Struggle in the courts
If maintained, the suspension would be a blow to the Biden administration’s intensive measures to expand the vaccine announced in September.
Biden says the need to reach two-thirds of the country’s workforce will set national standards for workplace safety.
The president decided that employees of large companies should be fully vaccinated by January 4, and argued that vaccination was “the best way out of this epidemic.”
Many companies in the United States already have their employees vaccinated. There are also requirements for military and federal contractors.
But critics of the move say it is unconstitutional for a president to impose such a grand rule across the country.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who opposed the government’s rules on vaccines and masks, praised Biden’s court ruling against “unconstitutional abuse of power.”
But Seema Nanda, a U.S. Department of Labor lawyer, said she was confident in Biden’s legal authority to issue the ruling.
“We are fully prepared to argue this action in court,” he said.
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