First Liberty Institute, on behalf of three prominent national religious ministries – Daystar Television Network, the American Family Association, and Answers in Genesis – announced that it will petition the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits to review the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 employees.
“As religious ministries our clients cannot in good conscience force their own employees to violate their deeply held beliefs regarding vaccines,” said David Hacker, Director of Litigation at First Liberty Institute. “The federal government has no authority to compel employers to violate the personal health care decisions of their employees. The Biden administration’s order is the latest example of its disdain for both our Constitution and the sincerely held religious beliefs of millions of Americans.”
Daystar Television Network is an international, faith-based network “dedicated to spreading the Gospel 24 hours a day, seven days a week”; America Family Association is one of the largest pro-family organizations in the country; Answers in Genesis is a world-class, Christ-centered, family attraction, with physical properties—one a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark—located in northern Kentucky. Each organization has over 100 employees, making them subject to the new vaccine mandate.
In September, President Biden directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to promulgate a federal “emergency temporary standard” (ETS) requiring all private businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that every employee is vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or presents a negative test result on a weekly basis or face potential fines. According to federal law, an ETS can be issued only when doing so is “necessary” to protect employees against “grave danger” from exposure to “substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards.” An ETS is temporary and expires after six months, after which the agency is required to issue a permanent rule that complies with the lengthy regulatory process.
About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.