6th Circuit 'punts' mandate issue to SCOTUS

6th Circuit 'punts' mandate issue to SCOTUS

6th Circuit 'punts' mandate issue to SCOTUS

Religious organizations have filed an Emergency Stay Application with the U.S. Supreme Court to protect religious employers from President Biden's mandate that private sector workers get COVID shots or submit themselves to frequent tests.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay against the mandate, but that was lifted by the Sixth Circuit in recent days.

Dys, Jeremy (First Liberty Institute) Dys

"The Sixth Circuit has punted this issue to the Supreme Court of the United States," says attorney Jeremy Dys of First Liberty Institute. "The Supreme Court has asked for the government to respond to our request for relief, emergency relief, by December 30th."

In response, he predicts the Supreme Court will either reinstate the stay or send it back down to the Sixth Circuit for further action.

First Liberty represents three religious organizations subject to the mandate: American Family Association (AFA), Answers in Genesis, and Daystar Television Network.

"Every American should object, whether or not they support the shots," Dys contends. "They should object that the government is forcing people of good will and faith to violate their conscience in order to obey the law."

"We've maintained from the beginning that we believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God," AFA General Counsel Abraham Hamilton III states. "It teaches us that the right of conscience is sacred and must remain inviolate. Any mandate that forces us to compel our employees, our AFA family, to be vaccinated against their wills is one that would require us to violate our family's sacred right of conscience. That is something we cannot and will not do!"

Hamilton, Abraham (AFA attorney) Hamilton

He also points out that the federal government has "no authority whatsoever to compel us to intrude upon our employees' personal health decisions and violate their sacred rights of conscience" and says it is "heartening" to see the Biden administration and OSHA back up on this, though compelled to do so by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"This mandate is an abuse of power and a textbook example of government overreach, as it seeks to thrust upon us the costs for implementing this testing regime and the attendant liability for inserting ourselves into our employees' private health decisions," Hamilton continues.

He says AFA is encouraged that the appellate court took the organization's concerns seriously and says, "We look forward to seeing religious freedom and rights of conscience ultimately protected as this matter may finally be resolved at the U.S. Supreme Court."

Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.