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The Sixth Circuit Deals Another Blow to the Contractor Mandate

As readers of this Blog know, the OSHA vaccine-or-test mandate has occupied much of the Sixth Circuit’s time the past few weeks.  That mandate is now before the Supreme Court, which hears oral argument on the OSHA and CMS mandates tomorrow.  In the meantime, a third pandemic-era mandate—the federal contractor mandate—made its own splash in … Continue Reading

Supreme Options for OSHA’s Vaccine-or-Test Mandate

In this post, we take a look at the options facing the U.S. Supreme Court as it considers the challengers’ various emergency applications for a stay, several of which were filed just hours after the Sixth Circuit dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the ETS this past Friday evening (December 17).  At this point, it … Continue Reading

ETS Developments in the Supreme Court — and more on the Sixth Circuit’s decision dissolving the stay

Before we dive in the panel’s opinions on the stay motion, we should mention that in the Supreme Court proceedings Justice Kavanaugh gave OSHA until December 30 to respond to the various emergency motions to stay enforcement of OSHA’s ETS mandate.  That is the same day that the Supreme Court gave the challengers in the … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit Vacates The Stay Of OSHA’s Mandate, But OSHA Delays Implementation Until January

As you probably know by now, the Sixth Circuit vacated the stay of OSHA’s vaccine mandate on Friday evening, allowing OSHA to move enforce its regulation, with an substantial, careful opinion by Judge Stranch (who was joined by Judge Gibbons) finding that OSHA has the statutory authority to issue and enforce the emergency temporary standard.  … Continue Reading

Chief Judge Sutton’s En Banc Dissent On The Merits Of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard

We’ve previously discussed the procedural arguments for and against taking the case en banc that Judge Moore and Chief Judge Sutton (briefly) debated in their respective concurrence and dissent.  As we noted in our earlier post, the Court split evenly on the en-banc issue, keeping these cases with the current three-judge panel.  This post reviews … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit and OSHA’s Upcoming December 6th Deadline.

Employers across the United States are wondering whether they need to comply with OSHA’s original, rapidly-approaching December 6th and January 4th deadlines.  And while no-one yet knows with 100% certainty, probably including the judges themselves, a few things seem clear from the Sixth Circuit’s approach in this consolidated appeal.  The Circuit has not ordered parties … Continue Reading

OSHA files emergency motion to dissolve the Fifth Circuit’s stay

At 2:28 a.m. this morning, OSHA filed an (overlength) emergency motion to dissolve the Fifth Circuit’s stay of OSHA’s vaccine mandate, taking three distinct positions.  OSHA principally argues, as expected, that it is likely to succeed on the merits because, OSHA reasonably concluded that the standard is necessary to address a grave danger, the Fifth … Continue Reading

Initial En Banc Petitions, Procedural Possibilities, and the OSHA Vaccine Mandate.

It’s been only three days since the Sixth Circuit won the JPML lottery to consolidate and adjudicate every appeal nationwide challenging OSHA’s vaccine mandate. Yet there have already been interesting developments. Many petitioners in the original Sixth Circuit cases have now moved for initial en banc review—which would bypass panel review entirely and send the … Continue Reading

President Biden Nominates Andre B. Mathis to the Sixth Circuit

Yesterday, President Biden nominated Memphis, Tennessee litigator Andre B. Mathis to the Sixth Circuit, filling the seat of Judge Bernice B. Donald, who announced in May that she will assume senior status upon the confirmation of her replacement. Mathis is currently a partner in the Memphis, Tennessee office of the law firm Butler Snow LLP, … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit and the OSHA Vaccine Mandate

Sometimes federal courts of appeals get to play the lottery. The prize is not millions of dollars, but the chance to adjudicate every challenge to a particular federal agency action filed in federal circuit court.  The Sixth Circuit won that lottery yesterday afternoon.  At issue is OSHA’s highly controversial vaccine mandate. On November 5, 2021, OSHA promulgated … Continue Reading

Evolution of the Sixth Circuit Approach to §1292(b) Petitions for Interlocutory Appeals

In our previous post, we discussed the difficulties of succeeding with a Section 1292(b) petition in both the district court in the circuit court.  We also noted that while the Sixth Circuit’s rate of acceptance of orders already certified by district courts has been higher than average for federal circuit courts.  We then reviewed decision … Continue Reading

Invited Error, Erie, and Pleading Standards – What to Make of Smith v. General Motors?

The Sixth Circuit handed down a recent decision, Smith v. General Motors, that, on its face, could be construed as having a wide-reaching impact on the pleading standard for certain product-liability and fraud claims.  But the panel was careful to disclose the larger, admittedly “odd” context of the case, making it difficult to discern just … Continue Reading

Certified Questions To State Supreme Courts Are Especially Rare In The Sixth Circuit

Nearly every state allows federal courts to certify questions of state law to obtain definitive answers from state supreme courts on unsettled issues of state law. The United States Supreme Court has explained that certifications “saves time, energy, and resources and helps build a cooperative judicial federalism.” All states, except North Carolina, have rules or … Continue Reading

New year comings and goings

Happy New Year from everyone here at the Sixth Circuit Blog!  We’re kicking off 2021 with some exciting news.  Ben Beaton, my appellate practice co-chair who often graced these pages, was sworn in last month as a US District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky.  We will miss Judge Beaton and his contributions to … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Update: Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference Rescheduled for June 2021

Those seeking a return to normalcy will be heartened to hear that the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, canceled due to the pandemic, has been rescheduled. Those seeking a cautious reopening will be heartened to hear that the Conference will be held in June…June 2021. From Chief Judge Cole: The Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference has been … Continue Reading
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