Fifth Circuit Orders Federal Government to Halt Implementation of OSHA Vaccine Mandate

November 12, 2021

Ruling: “...the Mandate threatens to substantially burden the liberty interests of reluctant individual recipients put to a choice between their job(s) and their jab(s).”

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 12, 2021)—The federal government has been ordered to halt all implementation and enforcement of its COVID vaccine and testing mandate following the request by petitioner and Louisiana business owner Brandon Trosclair and a group of employees from Texas who sued over the mandate last week. 

The ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans represents a complete victory in this stage of the fight against the mandate. The court has ordered the Biden Administration to halt all enforcement of the mandate while legal challenges work their way through the federal court system. The ruling issued today by the Fifth Circuit was in direct response to the request for extended stay filed by the national law firm the Liberty Justice Center and the Louisiana-based Pelican Institute for Public Policy.

Brandon Trosclair, who employs nearly 500 people across 15 grocery stores in Louisiana and Mississippi said, “Today’s ruling marks a tremendous success, because the court recognizes how this mandate would impair our liberty and infringe on our constitutional rights. I am proud to be in this fight on behalf of not just my employees, but all Americans. It’s wrong for the federal government to order me to interfere in the private medical decisions of my team members or to impose insurmountable costs on my businesses. I look forward to taking my fight all the way to the Highest Court.”

The President of the Liberty Justice Center said, “This is a complete and total victory for our clients and all Americans at this stage in the fight against this illegal mandate. The court rightly recognizes that the federal government has grossly exceeded its authority and is right to grant our request for extended stay. This mandate represents the greatest overreach by the federal government in a generation. It is illegal and unconstitutional and we are committed to ensuring it never sees the light of day.”

Sarah Harbison, General Counsel at the Pelican Institute for Public Policy said, “The Fifth Circuit’s decision to put a stop to the Biden Administration’s illegal vaccine mandate is a huge win for liberty and cements the reality that this mandate is an overreach by the federal government that would cause irreversible damage to American businesses and workers.”

In the order, the three-judge panel from the Fifth Circuit said: 

  • “The Mandate’s stated impetus—a purported ‘emergency’ that the entire globe has now endured for nearly two years, and which OSHA itself spent nearly two months responding to—is unavailing as well.”
  • “The Mandate threatens to substantially burden the liberty interests of reluctant individual recipients put to a choice between their job(s) and their jab(s). 
  • It “is critical to note that the Mandate makes no serious attempt to explain why OSHA and the President himself were against vaccine mandates before they were for one here.”
  • “OSHA’s attempt to shoehorn an airborne virus that is both widely present in society (and thus not particular to any workplace) and non-life-threatening to a vast majority of employees into a neighboring phrase connoting toxicity and poisonousness is yet another transparent stretch.”
  • “health agencies do not make housing policy, and occupational safety administrations do not make health policy”
  • “the petitioners’ motion for a stay pending review is GRANTED. Enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard” remains STAYED pending adequate judicial review of the petitioners’ underlying motions for a permanent injunction. In addition, IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that OSHA take no steps to implement or enforce the Mandate until further court order.”

BST Holdings, LLC v. OSHA was filed Nov. 5, 2021, in U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. Brandon Trosclair is the sole owner of BST Holdings, LLC.


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