Religious groups file challenge to Biden vaccine or test mandate
Three religious organizations filed a challenge to the Supreme Court on Saturday regarding the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for employers with at least 100 employees.
The American Family Association, Answers in Genesis and Daystar Television Network filed an emergency application requesting a stay on the mandate, which was developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The three groups claim that the rule “fails to provide any religious exemptions or accommodations for religious employers as required by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.”
“Any mandate that forces the organizations to compel their employees to be vaccinated against their will is one that would require it to violate their employees’ sacred rights of belief and conscience,” according to their court filing.
The OSHA mandate, which requires businesses with at least 100 employees to require vaccination or regular COVID-19 testing and mask-wearing, has been mired in legal challenges since it was published in early November.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in early November issued a stay against the vaccine-or-test mandate after a coalition of states including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah and South Carolina filed a legal challenge against it.
But that stay was dissolved and the mandate was reinstated on Friday by a separate federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, after urging by the Biden administration to reinstate the rule.
“Based on the wealth of information” in OSHA’s 153-page preamble that explains why it issued an emergency temporary standard, “it is difficult to imagine what more OSHA could do or rely on to justify its finding that workers face a grave danger in the workplace,” the court said on Friday.
It is not immediately clear if the Supreme Court would take up the case.
The Hill has reached out to the Labor Department for comment.