Judges appointed by Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan declined on Friday to lift a stay on the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers.
One law professor said the move showed the court was “radical and anti-science”.
Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) requirement, such workers must be vaccinated by 4 January or use masks and weekly tests.
The measure is softer than those implemented by many private businesses and state or local governments, and the Biden administration has expressed confidence in its legality.
Nonetheless, the fifth US circuit court of appeals, based in New Orleans and one of the most conservative federal panels, granted an emergency stay last Saturday.
Justice and labor department lawyers filed a response on Monday in which they said stopping the requirement would prolong the Covid-19 pandemic and “cost dozens or even hundreds…