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Utah, 26 other states appeal to COVID-19 vaccine mandate to U.S. Supreme Court

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Posted at 12:17 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 14:17:21-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah and dozens of other states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on a federal occupational safety rule that mandates COVID-19 vaccines or testing for private businesses with more than 100 employees.

The filing was anticipated after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the vaccination requirement to go forward. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes had vowed an appeal on behalf of the state.

"This case does not present the question whether vaccines or vaccine mandates are wise or desirable. Instead, it presents the narrow questions whether OSHA had authority to issue the Mandate, and whether it lawfully exercised whatever authority it had," the attorneys general of 27 states wrote in the filing.

The Biden administration has proposed an OSHA rule requiring private employers with more than 100 employees mandate COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the rule, but the 6th Circuit allowed it to go forward in its own ruling. Now, it will be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide.

Utah is involved in a number of lawsuits challenging the federal government's various vaccination mandates. State officials have repeatedly insisted that while they are in support of people getting vaccinated to end the pandemic, they are opposed to mandates from the federal government to do it.

Governor Spencer Cox's administration has repeatedly backed private businesses that impose mandates on their own, but signed a bill passed by the Utah State Legislature that carved some exemptions into it.

Read the filing here: