A case challenging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine mandates will not be heard immediately by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to ramp up his rhetoric in response.
During a national interview on Sunday, the Governor blasted the court’s decision to refer the case to a three–udge panel for preliminary review, calling it a “terrible decision.”
DeSantis progressed from a fairly mild position earlier in the week to a more strident tone Sunday. His intensified rhetoric doesn’t seem to reflect any change in the case itself in recent days.
“Well, first of all, on the OSHA mandate, I thought it was a terrible decision. This is just a three-judge panel. I thought the whole Circuit in the 6th would have certainly struck this down. I do think we’re going to get positive relief from the U.S. Supreme Court on that,” DeSantis said on the Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures program.
DeSantis noted Florida’s law against vaccine mandates, but said it was “important” nonetheless the mandate not be allowed to stand.
“We absolutely need to win that case at the Supreme Court,” DeSantis added.
The rhetoric has become more urgent from DeSantis, though the reasons why are unclear given the decision to refer the case to the panel was rolled out days ago.
On Friday in Ocala, the Governor contended the panel, “which may not be representative of the full court,” could temporarily reinstate the mandate, which is stayed for the time being.
“I was surprised at that. You could end up with what I consider an adverse ruling on the panel,” DeSantis warned. “And then it maybe goes to the full court, and then the rule is ruled to be unconstitutional. But I’m confident of the ultimate result. How you get there is a little bit of a curveball.”
“Who knows, they could lift the stay on this. I hope not,” DeSantis added. “I’m not predicting that. But I think it’s something that didn’t need to necessarily go there.”
DeSantis offered similar warnings at another news conference Thursday, saying he was a “little bit surprised” and “disappointed” to see the court’s 8-8 vote to refer the case to a three-judge panel, even though that’s its custom.
“But you know, there’s a lot that could potentially be riding on this, and if they were to reverse the stay or reverse the injunction, boy,” the Governor said in Yulee.
The rule would affect major companies in the new year, compelling companies with at least 100 employees to require full vaccination or weekly testing for those deemed not fully vaccinated.
Florida banned employer vaccine mandates, but much of the country has not.