Ping-pong ball was upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal in ruling on the Biden vaccine mandate

  • Several challenges against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate were filed in 12 district courts.
  • Legal Panel Secretary 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 conservatively filled U.S. 6th Circuit Appeals Court of Appeals on Tuesday was selected to hear challenges to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large employers in the private sector, the Associated Press reported.

The mandate, which Biden revealed 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 tests by January 4th.

Officials in 27 Republican-led states, employers and several conservatives and business organizations filed challenges against the mandate in 12 district courts, according to the AP.

When challenges to a federal agency case are filed in multiple courts, federal law requires a lottery to be used to determine which district court to process the consolidated cases, TIME reported.

John W. Nichols, a clerk at the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, randomly selected the 6th circuit by pulling a ping-pong ball from a drum, according to a lawsuit Tuesday.

As a result of the lottery, the court will decide whether the Danish Working Environment Authority (OSHA) has the authority to enforce the mandate. Eleven of the 16 full-time judges in the 6th constituency were appointed by Republican presidents, six of whom were appointed by former President Donald Trump, the AP reported.

Although the use of the lottery system is rare, it has been used in two other cases this year, including a decision by 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, reported TIME.

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