The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Consolidated into: In re: OSHA Rule on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing
Description: The Biden administration issued a mandate via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that requires all private employers of 100 or more employees to force unvaccinated employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, be subject to weekly testing and masking requirements, or lose their job.
ADF attorneys ask full 6th Circuit to hear consolidated vaccine mandate cases
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom and the Dhillon Law Group, who represent The Daily Wire in its lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s private employer vaccine mandate, filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Wednesday that asks the full court to hear the case and all of the other vaccine mandate cases instead of waiting for a three-judge panel to rule first. ADF attorneys also filed a similar petition asking for the same on behalf of two theological seminaries that also filed suit in the 6th Circuit.
The 6th Circuit was selected by lottery Tuesday to decide all qualified lawsuits at the appellate level across the country that challenge the mandate, issued via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The mandate requires all private employers of 100 or more employees to force unvaccinated employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, be subject to weekly testing and masking requirements, or lose their job.
“The government has no authority to unilaterally treat unvaccinated employees like workplace hazards or to compel employers to become vaccine commissars. The profound effect of this upon those employers and the 80 million American workers who are affected is the reason we are asking the full 6th Circuit to consider this issue immediately,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert. “The Biden administration’s decision to mandate vaccines through an OSHA emergency rule is unlawful and compels employers, including businesses like The Daily Wire and religious organizations like The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to inappropriately interfere with their employees’ personal vaccination decisions.”
“There is little question that these cases present various questions ‘of exceptional importance’ that qualify for immediate en banc consideration, namely whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”)’s Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) requiring 80 million Americans in private employment to be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 exceeds OSHA’s constitutional and statutory authority,” the petition filed with the 6th Circuit in The Daily Wire’s case explains.
“Aside from these exceptionally important legal questions, there are other aspects of these cases that warrant immediate en banc review,” the petition filed in the seminaries’ case adds. “As courts have recognized, the use of an ETS is ‘extraordinary’ and ‘should be delicately exercised, and only in those emergency situations which require it….’ ‘In fact, in its fifty-year history, OSHA has issued just ten ETSs. Six were challenged in court; only one survived….’ Now, OSHA invokes this rarely used power and seeks to impose a vaccine-or-test mandate on 80 million individuals by commandeering private and religious employers. It is no surprise that there have been 34 petitions for review that were filed in all 12 geographical courts of appeals. For these reasons, the Court should hear these cases en banc.”
In addition to The Daily Wire v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, ADF attorneys also represent clients in State of Missouri v. Biden, filed in the 8th Circuit, and State of Florida v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, filed in the 11th Circuit. All of those cases will now be consolidated in the 6th Circuit.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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Ryan Bangert serves as senior counsel and vice president for legal strategy at Alliance Defending Freedom. He oversees the Center for Academic Freedom, the Center for Conscience Initiatives, and the regulatory litigation team, and assists ADF leadership with strategic initiatives. Before joining ADF, Bangert served as Deputy for Legal Counsel and Deputy First Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Texas Attorney General. In those roles, he oversaw the State’s Special Litigation Unit, which handled critical litigation against the federal government, and oversaw multiple divisions within the office, including the General Counsel Division and the Opinion Committee. Bangert also served as Deputy for Civil Litigation for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, overseeing the state’s civil litigation portfolio and over 200 attorneys and staff. Prior to his government service, Bangert was a litigation partner at Baker Botts L.L.P., where he was a volunteer attorney for ADF and served as amicus counsel in numerous cases. Bangert earned his B.A. from Oral Roberts University, and his J.D. from Southern Methodist University, where he graduated first in his class. He participated in the Blackstone Legal Fellowship program in 2002. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Patrick Higginbotham on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Bangert is an active member of the Texas Bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal trial courts and courts of appeal.