Legal battle over Biden’s vaccine mandate begins

President Joe Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate covering 84 million workers nationwide was blocked by a federal appeals court after only a day and a half in effect, leading to what is expected to be a grueling legal fight.

More than two dozen states, businesses, business groups and religious organizations have sued the Biden administration over the mandate, calling it an overreach of government authority. Lawsuits argue the Occupational Health and Safety Administration would not have the legal authority to issue a rule to address a society-wide health concern. They also call into question the timing of the rule, which comes more than a year-and-a-half into the pandemic and while new infections are falling.

Almost all of the states suing the Biden administration are led by Republicans, including South Carolina, but Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, joined in the criticism.

Suits have been filed in multiple circuit districts, including the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 11th and Washington D.C. The cases will be consolidated as per federal law and heard by one federal appeals court, chosen by lottery. However, the case is likely to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 382 total cases of COVID-19 Nov. 9, with 276 confirmed. A total of two new confirmed deaths were also reported.

With 15,243 tests reported, 4.3% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents with at least one vaccine: 63.3%
Percentage of S.C. residents who have completed vaccination: 55.5%