Another federal judge blocks Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors and health care workers nationwide; a big win for employers and gig workers
On November 17, OSHA suspended the vaccine mandate in a big win for employers after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay that found it likely to be struck down as unconstitutional.
Now about two weeks later, another federal judge has dealt a big blow to Biden’s vaccine mandate for health care workers nationwide. A federal judge in Louisiana issued a nationwide preliminary injunction Tuesday against President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers, finding that Biden likely lacks the authority to force them to get vaccinated.
Judge Terry A. Doughty in the U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana ruled in favor of a request from Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to block an emergency regulation issued Nov. 4 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that required vaccines for nearly every full-time employee, part-time employee, volunteer, and contractor working at a wide range of healthcare facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicaid funding. Louisiana was joined in the lawsuit by attorneys general in 13 other states.
In another ruling, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove blocked President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, finding that Biden likely lacks the authority to force them to get vaccinated.
“This is not a case about whether vaccines are effective. They are. Nor is this a case about whether the government, at some level, and in some circumstances, can require citizens to obtain vaccines. It can,” U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, wrote in the 29-page order. The judge granted a request for a preliminary injunction by the attorneys general of Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
“The question presented here is narrow. Can the president use congressionally delegated authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services to impose vaccines on the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors? In all likelihood, the answer to that question is no,” he said.
“This is not about vaccines, it’s about the mandates,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, said in a statement. “The judge’s opinion clearly states that and it has been our position all along that the president cannot impose these mandates on the people.”
On September 9, Biden signed an executive order requiring contractors to force all their workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine unless the worker is entitled to an exception. Contractors who did not comply with the order, originally set with a Dec. 8 deadline, were poised to lose the government’s business.
The three states charged that the vaccine mandate was both illegal and unconstitutional, in part because it was imposed with little regard to “important aspects surrounding the mandate, including but not limited to economic impacts, cost to States, cost to citizens, labor-force and supply-chain disruptions, the current risks of COVID-19, and basic distinctions among workers such as those with natural immunity to COVID-19 and those who work remotely or with limited in-person contacts, among other aspects.”
You can read the result of the ruling below.NationwideInjunction