Utah joins 26 states to appeal Biden federal vaccine mandate

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah is joining 26 other states in filing an appeal to a court ruling that will allow a federal vaccine mandate for private companies to move ahead.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday to allow the rule to continue forward after the mandate was previously paused.

The mandate outlined by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would apply to private companies with over 100 employees, affecting about 84 million Americans.

Utah is joining 26 other states in the appeal including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

“This case does not present the question whether vaccines or vaccine mandates are wise or desirable. Instead, it presents the narrow questions whether OSHA had authority to issue the Mandate, and whether it lawfully exercised whatever authority it had. After all, “our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully,” even during a pandemic and “even in pursuit of desirable ends.”

Republican states and lawmakers have consistently pushed back against the mandate, citing unconstitutional overreach and the belief that it violates federal law. The states maintain the motion is not in denial of the efficacy of vaccines.

Earlier this month, Utah joined six other states and various state agencies in filing a preliminary injunction to Biden’s vaccine mandate.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes responded to the announcement on Friday saying, “Utah and several dozen states intend to seek emergency relief with the U.S. Supreme Court. We remain confident that the Court will agree that the mandate is unconstitutional federal overreach.”

The vaccine mandate was initially set to take effect on Jan. 4, 2022, but it’s unclear whether that date will hold at this time.

Read the full appeal filing here.

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