US court temporarily freezes Biden's vaccine mandate

Court said they found constitutional issues within the policy, which covers more than two-thirds of the nation's workforce

US court temporarily freezes Biden's vaccine mandate

A US appeals court has temporarily blocked President Joe Biden's vaccination mandate, which seeks to require workers at private companies with more than 100 staff to be fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.  The mandate intends to cover more than two-thirds of the nation's workforce, according to Biden, in a bid to further hike vaccination rates in the country.

However, the mandate - set to be introduced in January - faced opposition from Republican-led states and even from Biden's own Democrats. The states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah, along with other private companies and religious groups, filed a case alleging that Biden's move to mandate vaccines is an overstep of his authority.

The court ruled in the petitioners' favour.

"Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the mandate, the mandate is hereby stayed pending further action by this court," ruled the appeals court.

It gave the Biden administration until Monday to respond to the decision. The petitioners, meanwhile, hailed the ruling.

Read more: Biden's divisive vaccine mandate a 'tricky policy to implement'

Jeff Landry, attorney general (AG) of Louisiana, called it a "major win" for liberty.

"In a major win for the liberty of job creators and their employees, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit just halted the Biden Administration's attempt to force vaccines on businesses with 100 or more workers," said Landry on a tweet.

Todd Rokita, AG of Indiana, also hailed the ruling despite not being a part of the petitioners.

"Biden's vaccine mandate halted by court in 5th Circuit. Strategy of like-minded AGs is working! We'll continue to execute our plan to preserve liberty," said Rokita on Twitter.

Previously, even officials from the Biden-led Democrats have been coming out to oppose the US president's planned vaccine mandate.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly in a statement on Friday said while the intention is appreciated, she doesn't believe its directive is in the right place.

"While I appreciate the intention to keep people safe, a goal I share, I don't believe this directive is the correct, or the most effective, solution for Kansas," she said in a statement.

According to Kelly, it is too late to impose a federal standard now that states have developed their own strategies to fight the pandemic.

"I will seek a resolution that continues to recognise the uniqueness of our state and builds on our on-going efforts to combat a once-in-a-century crisis."

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