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Federal Court of Appeals temporarily blocks Biden's vaccine mandate based on 'grave statutory and constitutional issues'

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Saturday afternoon that the Federal Court of Appeals issued a temporary halt to President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate.

The Republican governor of Texas wrote on Twitter, "BREAKING: The Federal Court of Appeals just issued a temporary halt to Biden's vaccine mandate. Emergency hearings will take place soon. We will have our day in court to strike down Biden's unconstitutional abuse of authority."

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit temporarily blocked Biden's vaccine mandate pending further court order based on "grave statutory and constitutional issues with the mandate."

The two-page order directs the federal government to respond to the request for a "permanent injunction" against the mandate by 5 p.m. on Monday.

On Thursday, Abbott announced that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate.

"This mandate is an unprecedented overreach by the executive branch of the federal government and must be halted," Abbott said.

Paxton commented on the temporary freeze, "The fight is not over and I will never stop resisting this Admin's unconstitutional overreach!"

Texas was one of 26 states that launched lawsuits challenging the Biden administration's vaccine mandate that will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

"Several coalitions — which include 25 attorneys general and one solicitor general — filed petitions with federal appeals courts asking for the mandate to be blocked," The Hill reported on Friday.

"A separate coalition of Republican attorneys general also filed a petition with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, also arguing that OSHA has neither the constitutional or statutory authority to implement the rule," according to the outlet.

States launched the lawsuits after President Biden made his vaccine mandate official on Thursday.

Under the order, all businesses with more than 100 employees would need to require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have weekly testing for coronavirus. Unvaccinated employees also are forced to wear face masks in the workplace.

The order goes into effect on Jan. 4, and businesses that do not comply with Biden's vaccine mandate face fines of up $13,653 per violation and fines of up to $136,532 for "willful or repeated" violations from OSHA. The order is estimated to affect 100 million Americans.

President Biden said this week, "Vaccination is the single best pathway out of this pandemic. And while I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary, too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good."

Biden also claimed, "Vaccination requirements are good for the economy."

"They not only increase vaccination rates but they help send people back to work — as many as 5 million American workers," Biden asserted. "They make our economy more resilient in the face of COVID and keep our businesses open."

In September, Biden welcomed legal challenges to his vaccine mandate.

"Have at it," Biden said in reference to Republican governors threatening lawsuits to the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

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