6th Circuit to Preside Over Federal Vaccine Mandate

Sherman & Howard L.L.C.
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Challenges to OSHA’s November 4, 2021 Emergency Temporary Standard mandating vaccines or weekly COVID-19 testing for large employers will be consolidated and heard in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Although Petitions for Review of the vaccine or test mandate were filed in nearly every circuit, only one federal court can preside over the challenges. A D.C.-based Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation conducted a lottery on November 16, 2021, randomly drawing the 6th Circuit as the single presiding court.

The presiding court was chosen fairly quickly, as less than two weeks have passed since OSHA issued the vaccine ETS and challenges began rolling in. This could mean the 6th Circuit will rule on the issues without delay, perhaps before the mandate requires compliance on December 5, 2021, but more likely by the testing requirement date of January 4, 2022.

A three-judge panel will decide the case. The 6th Circuit has notably more conservative than liberal judges, but it will still be another pick from a hat as to which judges actually hear the case.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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