Local political science professor breaks down legal battle over Biden’s vaccine mandate

JACKSON, Ms (WLBT) – The Biden administration’s mandate for a vaccine isn’t fully effective yet, but it’s already stuck in the courts.

On Saturday, the US Federal Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the authorization for private companies. Mississippi was one of the states that filed a lawsuit to block it on Friday.

The authorization will require workers at US companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.

Politically speaking, Dr. Marwis Mangum, chair of Jackson State University’s Department of Political Science, said the lawsuit challenging Biden’s state is significant because of the huge number of governors and prosecutors involved.

But, legally speaking, he said, it doesn’t carry much weight.

The thing about the Biden administration [mandate] is that you can get tested weekly if you refuse to get vaccinated.” “So if you don’t want to get vaccinated, there is an option for you.”

He added that he also allows exceptions for religious or health reasons.

Mangum said he was not surprised by Saturday’s ruling freezing the mandate because the appeals court judges who delivered the ruling were all appointed by Republican presidents.

However, if the Biden administration goes ahead with the fight for mandate in the courts, Mangom believes it can be held to a higher level.

We have ordered vaccinations in this country before. We don’t talk about polio much because it was the required vaccination,” he said. “At the time, there were some people who were against it, but they weren’t given the platforms as they are today when it comes to COVID-19.”

As for whether or not the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – or OSHA – has the authority to mandate a vaccine, Mangum said this is in line with what the administration has done for decades.

“When it comes to construction sites, construction workers have to wear hard hats,” he said. “When it comes to dealing with hazardous waste, there is a certain way to deal with it and to dispose of hazardous waste.”

Governor Tate Reeves tweeted Friday that he and the AG will continue to use every tool at their disposal to stop President Biden’s “blatant abuse of power.” He added Saturday that the fighting continues, but the court’s latest ruling is a big first step.

Because Biden’s mandate was originally drafted, it is set to take effect on January 4th, but there is some uncertainty about those companies while they are suspended in court.

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