Two Federal Courts Block Biden’s Vaccine Mandates For Health Care Workers And Federal Contractors
President Joe Biden‘s vaccine mandates suffered major setbacks after two federal courts ordered temporary stays on applying the policies toward certain workers.
Judge Terry Doughty of the United States District Court of the Western District of Louisiana Monroe Division stated in a 34-page ruling that the administration “does not have the authority to implement” a requirement that Medicaid and Medicare workers, and hospitals that receive federal funding, get fully inoculated against Covid-19 by January 4, 2022.
Fourteen states filed suit, claiming that the mandate violated their sovereignty. Doughty agreed.
“This Court finds the Plaintiff States’ alleged injuries are both particularized and concrete. Plaintiff States have a ‘parens patriae’ standing and/or a quasi-sovereign interest in protecting its citizens from being required to submit to vaccinations,” the judge said. “Additionally, the Plaintiff States have standing to regulate matters they believe they control, to attack preemption of state law by a federal agency, and to protect the enforcement of state law.TheCMS Mandatespecificallypreempts state laws with regard to COVID-19 Vaccine requirements and/or exemptions. The Plaintiff States also have standing and injury, based upon the alleged loss of jobs, loss of businesses, loss of tax revenue, and other damages allegedly resulting from employees being fired for refusing the vaccine and/or providers being terminated by CMS from the Medicare/Medicaid provider agreement.”
In a second case, Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Kentucky Central Division in Frankfurt halted the mandate for federal contractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, opining that Biden lacks the executive authority to unilaterally issue vaccine mandates.
“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. 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. So, for the reasons that follow, the pending request for a preliminary injunction will be GRANTED,” Van Tatenhove said in a 29-page opinion.
The rulings effectively froze the mandates nationwide, despite the fact that nearly all federal government employees have gotten their shots. The president maintains that the mandates were enacted to protect elderly Medicare and Medicaid patients.