Appeals court in Ohio to hear challenges to federal vaccination mandate for businesses

Challenges to the federal government's vaccinate-or-test mandate for businesses were consolidated Nov. 16 at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati, according to The New York Times.

A representative for the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation chose the court randomly via a drawing from a wooden drum containing 12 ping pong balls, each representing a regional appeals court, according to NPR.

The consolidation means the 6th Circuit will take on more than two dozen related cases pending before regional appeals courts. It also removes the matter from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans that had halted the mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees.

Judges on the 6th Circuit will hear the consolidated case, although it was unclear Nov. 16 whether they will keep an injunction against the mandate or allow the mandate to move forward amid court proceedings, the Times reported.

"Once a panel of judges are selected, ordinarily at random, the first question they will have to address is whether to retain or dissolve the stay ordered by the 5th Circuit," David Vladeck, a professor of law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., told CNBC.

The 5th Circuit on Nov. 12 reaffirmed its decision to temporarily block the federal government from moving forward with the mandate, writing that challengers are likely to succeed in striking down the mandate on grounds that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's emergency temporary standard exceeds its statutory authority.

But President Joe Biden's administration has said it would defend the mandate in court.

This "is just the beginning of the process for review of this important OSHA standard," Dena Iverson, a Justice Department spokesperson, said in a Nov. 12 statement shared with the Times. "The department will continue to vigorously defend the standard and looks forward to obtaining a definitive resolution following consolidation of all of the pending cases for further review."

The issue could ultimately end up reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the Times

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