In a rough stretch for the administrative state, after the Fifth Circuit’s recent skeptical rejection of an FDA regulation of e-cigarettes, another panel stayed OSHA’s vaccine-mandate regulation. It based its decision on several administrative-law principles and summarized:

“[T]he Mandate’s strained prescriptions combine to make it the rare government pronouncement that is both overinclusive (applying to employers and employees in virtually all industries and workplaces in America, with little attempt to account for the obvious differences between the risks facing, say, a security guard on a lonely night shift, and a meatpacker working shoulder to shoulder in a cramped warehouse) and underinclusive (purporting to save employees with 99 or more coworkers from a “grave danger” in the workplace, while making no attempt to shield employees with 98 or fewer coworkers from the very same threat). The Mandate’s stated impetus—a purported “emergency” that the entire globe has now endured for nearly two years, and which OSHA itself spent nearly two months responding to—is unavailing as well. And its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority.”

No. 21-60845 (Nov. 12, 2021) (footnotes omitted, emphasis in original).

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