A day after the Biden administration filed documents seeking to reinstate its workplace vaccine-or-test mandate, court battles over its legality rage on as new suits continue to accumulate.

The White House has asked a federal appeals court in Cincinnati to lift its order blocking the rule, which requires federal employees, contractors, and businesses with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or submit to weekly testing and masking on the job.


New legal actions are still piling up against the administration's request. Job Creators Network has filed its own brief asking the court to reject the request and make clear that it applies to the entire administration. The state of Ohio has joined three separate lawsuits in three weeks challenging different portions of the mandate, including for healthcare workers, and a group formed by former President Donald Trump's adviser Stephen Miller is suing on behalf of a 20-year Navy employee.

The White House has encouraged businesses to follow through on the mandate, making the case that increased vaccinations are good for the economy and that the threat from the disease will grow more acute during the frigid winter months.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit is overseeing the flurry of challenges, emanating mostly from Republican leaders. A separate court had halted the policy.

"The Fifth Circuit’s stay should be lifted immediately," government attorneys argued in their filing. "That court’s principal rationale was that OSHA allegedly lacked statutory authority to address the grave danger of COVID-19 in the workplace on the ground that COVID-19 is caused by a virus and also exists outside the workplace. That rationale has no basis in the statutory text. Congress charged OSHA with addressing grave dangers in the workplace, without any carve-out for viruses or dangers that also happen to exist outside the workplace."

But no matter what the 6th Circuit decides, the case may ultimately be decided in the Supreme Court.

Nearly 100 million U.S. workers will be subject to the mandate if it's upheld, and the White House says that 95% of the federal workforce is already in compliance.


Many of the arguments against the mandate single out the increased burden on private employers, many of whom are already facing a labor shortage they say would be exacerbated by a vaccine-or-test requirement.

"The Biden Administration continues to ignore the Fifth Circuit’s decision to freeze the employer vaccine mandate due to numerous fatal flaws," said JCN President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz. "The administration has repeatedly bullied small businesses into complying with the mandate despite the court's stay, and it is now asking the court to lift the freeze entirely. JCN is standing up for small businesses by filing the first opposition to this request, reiterating how the mandate's numerous legal violations mean the freeze should continue."