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Court Fight Over Shot-or-Test Mandate Ends With Suits’ Dismissal

Feb. 18, 2022, 4:08 PM

A federal appeals court has dismissed litigation over the Biden administration’s controversial shot-or-test rule for large U.S. businesses.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit threw out the suits on Friday granting a request made by the U.S. after the Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration measure from taking effect.

The high court’s majority had made clear it believed the rule exceeded OSHA’s authority and that those challenging it were likely to prevail.

Those suing included a coalition of Republican attorneys general, as well as business and religious organizations, many of whom filed papers backing the dismissal. Some of those litigants also asked the Cincinnati-based tribunal to vacate an earlier ruling reversing another appeals court order blocking the measure.

The Sixth Circuit denied those motions as now moot.

OSHA’s standard required vaccinations or weekly testing for workers at businesses with more than 100 employees. The workplace safety regulator formally withdrew the measure in January after the high court ruling.

OSHA officials in court and public statements have said the agency is now focused on an infectious disease standard aimed at the health-care industry and that they hope to have the rule completed between June and September.

The case is In Re: OSHA Covid Rule, 6th Cir., No. 21-07000, 2/18/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Rolfsen in Washington at BRolfsen@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com; Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com