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'Encroachments Upon our Freedom': Appeals Court Upholds Biden's COVID Vaccine Mandate for Large Businesses

Image Source: (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Image Source: (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

A federal appeals court on Friday reinstated the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large businesses with at least 100 employees.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Ohio lifted another court's order from November that blocks the mandate from taking effect on Jan. 4.

The federal court wrote in its 57-page order that the ruling was "based on the wealth of information" provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), explaining that "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 continued, "It is not appropriate to second-guess that agency determination considering the substantial evidence, including many peer-reviewed scientific studies, on which it relied. Indeed, OSHA need not demonstrate scientific certainty."

CBN News previously reported that the mandate called for businesses with 100 or more employees to either require vaccinations – or – weekly testing for unvaccinated employees, and employees would pay for those tests.

Companies that don't find a way to enforce the order will face a $14,000 fine per violation, which would increase with repeat offenses.

Friday's ruling was 2-1 with Judges Jane Stranch, appointed by President Barack Obama, and Julia Gibbons, appointed by President George W. Bush, in the majority. Judge Joan Larsen, appointed by President Donald Trump, dissented.

"The virus that causes COVID-19 is not, of course, uniquely a workplace condition. Its potency lies in the fact that it exists everywhere an infected person may be — home, school, or grocery store, to name a few," Larsen wrote. "So how can OSHA regulate an employee's exposure to it?"

Meanwhile, Americans are lining up in record numbers to get their booster shot. 

The government says the Omicron variant is spurring millions of people per day to get a third shot. It's the highest rate since some adults were given the green light in September.

As for President Biden's federal mandate, it's already faced several setbacks in the courts and is expected to ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

In a statement, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts announced that the institution will challenge the decision.

"The American people should be able to make their own personal medical decisions without the federal government forcing their employers to punish them or collect their private information," Roberts wrote. "The Heritage Foundation, along with many other American businesses and nonprofit organizations challenging this mandate, views the government's action as a serious threat to our individual liberty."

Roberts added, "President Biden was wrong to impose this authoritarian mandate on the American people and the circuit court's ruling only adds confusion and uncertainty. If this ruling is upheld, it will set a dangerous precedent for future encroachments upon our freedom." 

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