NEW ORLEANS (CBS/AP) — A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily halted the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that those workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or face mask requirements and weekly tests.

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Louisiana Attorney General Landry said the action stops President Joe Biden “from moving forward with his unlawful overreach.”

“The president will not impose medical procedures on the American people without the checks and balances afforded by the constitution,” Landry said in a statement.

At least 27 states filed lawsuits challenging the rule in several circuits, some of which were made more conservative by the judicial appointments of former Republican President Donald Trump.

New Hampshire was among 11 states that sued the Biden administration this week over the vaccine requirement for businesses in the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Today’s action continues our efforts to protect the State of New Hampshire from the federal government’s attempt to impose illegal mandates,” New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said in a statement. “As I have said previously, the available Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and every eligible person in New Hampshire is encouraged to get a Covid-19 vaccine. However, the new Emergency Temporary Standard issued by OSHA is illegal and would impose significant burdens on New Hampshire businesses and their employees. We are therefore obligated to take action to protect the interests of our State’s citizens and businesses.”

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In a statement, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu backed the decision to join the lawsuit.

“COVID vaccines are the most effective tool we have to protect ourselves and our community from this virus,” he said. “But as the head of state, I recognize the limitations of government in mandating this personal medical decision. President Biden has created a loophole to facilitate this overreach, which is why I fully support the Attorney Generals decision to sign on to this lawsuit.”

The Biden administration has been encouraging widespread vaccinations as the quickest way to end the pandemic that has claimed more than 750,000 lives in the United States.

The administration says it is confident that the requirement, which includes penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation, will withstand legal challenges in part because its safety rules pre-empt state laws.

The 5th Circuit, based in New Orleans, said it was delaying the federal vaccine requirement because of potential “grave statutory and constitutional issues” raised by the plaintiffs. The government must provide an expedited reply to the motion for a permanent injunction Monday, followed by petitioners’ reply on Tuesday.

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