White House tells businesses to proceed with vaccine mandate despite court-ordered pause

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a speech at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium, White House in Washington on November 3, 2021.
The White House said Monday that businesses should continue to follow President Joe Biden’s requirements for vaccine and testing, despite the fact that a federal appeals court ordered a temporary halt.

During a briefing, White House Deputy Press Secretary Karinejean-Pierre stated that people should not wait. They should keep moving forward and ensure that their workplace is vaccinated.

The U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, is considered to be one of the most conservative appellate court in the country. It halted the requirements Saturday pending review. They wrote that "the petitions give reason to believe there are grave statutory or constitutional issues with this Mandate."

The Biden administration will have until Monday night to respond.

A day after the requirements were put into effect, the court ordered a pause. This began the countdown for businesses employing 100 or more people to make sure their staff received the required shots for full vaccination by January 4. Unvaccinated workers will need to submit a weekly negative Covid-19 test in order to be allowed into the workplace. All workers who are not vaccinated must wear face masks indoors from Dec. 5.

The pause was requested by the Republican attorneys general of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, South Carolina, South Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah as well as several other companies. The requirements are beyond the authority of Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This agency will enforce the mandates. They also argue that this is an unconstitutional delegation to the executive branch of Congress.

Since last Friday, at least 26 Republican attorneys general have challenged Biden’s requirements for vaccine testing and testing in five U.S. appels courts. The Republican National Committee stated that it also challenged the requirements at the D.C. Court of Appeals.

It is not clear which court will decide the case. Multiple petitions must be filed in at least 2 courts before the cases can be consolidated through a lottery system. In a Monday filing, the Justice Department stated that the lottery would take place around Nov. 16.

David Vladeck, Georgetown University professor of law, stated that there is a high probability that the case will reach the Supreme Court.

Vladeck stated to CNBC that "there are justices on court who want to reinin the administrative state and it is a case where those concerns are likely be the fore," Vladeck said.

OSHA, the agency that monitors safety at work for the Labor Department, created the testing and vaccine requirements under an emergency authority granted by Congress. This authority allows OSHA to expedite the process of issuing workplace safety standards. This normally takes many years.

Seema Nanda (the top Labor Department lawyer), stated that the Biden administration was "fully prepared" to defend this standard in court.

Nanda stated that the law gives OSHA explicit authority to act swiftly in an emergency if OSHA finds workers are in grave danger and that a new standard is needed to protect them.

Nanda stated that the requirements for vaccine and testing are superior to any state or local requirements that prohibit or limit an employer from requiring vaccination, face-covering or testing. Texas Governor. Greg Abbott, Texas Governor, issued an executive order last month that banned vaccine mandates from the Lone Star State.

OSHA's emergency workplace safety standards have had mixed results in court. In its 50-year history, OSHA had issued 10 of these standards. Four of the standards were rescinded by courts, while a fifth was partially vacated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 750,000 Americans have been killed by Covid since the outbreak. According to Johns Hopkins University data, more than 1100 people die each day from Covid and 71,000 are infected every day.

Jean-Pierre said Monday that if it's not a serious danger, then I don't know what else it is."

This report was contributed by Kevin Breuninger, CNBC