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Tipsheet

OSHA Workplace Vaccine Mandate Lottery Goes to 6th Circuit. That's Probably Good News, Thanks to Trump

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals won a lottery conducted Tuesday to hear legal challenges to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule that would mandate vaccines or testing and masking for all workers in workplaces with 100 or more employees.

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Via NPR:

In a process resembling a Powerball drawing, a dozen ping pong balls, each representing one court, were placed into a wooden drum on Tuesday. The winning ball was drawn in Washington, D.C., by a selector from a judicial panel that oversees multidistrict litigation.

The lottery comes days after a three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued, then extended a temporary stay of the mandate, calling it a "fatally flawed" document which "grossly exceeds OSHA's statutory authority."

Challenges to the mandate, aspects of which would have taken effect in December and January, were filed in all twelve federal appeals courts. While most challenges were made by vaccine mandate opponents, some labor unions filed in Democratic-leaning courts, contending that the mandate did not go far enough. Since this could have gone either way, it's quite possible that freedom may have dodged a significant bullet.

Although we don't know for certain that the 6th Circuit will follow the 5th Circuit's unassailable logic, people concerned about bodily autonomy and the erosion of liberties perpetrated by the administration of President Joe Biden under the guise of 'health' have reason to be optimistic. 

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The court, which covers Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan, is comprised of 11 Republican-appointed judges, with only five appointed by Democratic presidents. In other words, what was once considered a center-right court has become solidly conservative, thanks to six judges appointed by former President Donald Trump.

In a case that seems inevitably bound for the Supreme Court, litigation and appeals could likely go on for several weeks and even months even if a quick decision comes from the 6th Circuit, NPR reported.

So, will Trump's judicial selections end up saving the country from what would arguably be the most draconian and insane power-grab in U.S. history? On both the Circuit Court and Supreme Court levels, we're about to find out.

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