- Multiple challenges to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate were filed in 12 circuit courts.
- Judicial panel clerk John W. Nichols randomly selected the 6th Circuit to hear mandate challenges.
- Eleven of the 16 full-time judges in the 6th Circuit were appointed by Republican presidents.
Using a random drawing of ping-pong balls, the conservative-packed US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was selected Tuesday to hear challenges to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large private sector employers, the Associated Press reported.
The mandate, which Biden unveiled earlier this month, would require federal government employees and individuals working for a company with more than 100 employees to be fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing by January 4.
Officials in 27 Republican-led states, employers, and several conservative and business organizations filed challenges against the mandate in 12 circuit courts, according to AP.
When challenges to an action by a federal agency are filed in multiple courts, federal law requires that a lottery be used to determine which circuit court will hear the consolidated cases, TIME reported.
John W. Nichols, clerk of the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, randomly selected the 6th Circuit by drawing a ping-pong ball from a drum, according to a Tuesday court filing.
As a result of the lottery, the court will determine whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the authority to enforce the mandate. Eleven of the 16 full-time judges in the 6th Circuit were appointed by Republican presidents, six of which were appointed by former President Donald Trump, AP reported.
While the use of the lottery system is rare, it has been used in two other cases this year, including a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board on an anti-union Twitter post by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and an order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, TIME reported.