Judge Says Mandating Vaccine for Workers is Out of Biden’s Authority
A Missouri federal judge blocked the COVID vaccine mandate by President Joe Biden for federal contractors in 10 states on
Monday. Rather than being a workplace mandate, the judge characterized it as a public health mandate as it also extends beyond the President’s jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Georgia had halted the mandate nationwide on Dec. 7.
According to Newsweek, the U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce stated that federal contracts can typically only establish wage and non-discrimination policies, as well as employee rights.
“The vaccine mandate would reach beyond the workplace and into the realm of public health,” Noce penned.
“The Court concludes that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the issue of whether the mandate exceeds the scope of the power granted to the President” under federal law.
In September, Biden announced a series of mandates for healthcare workers as well as private companies with over 100 employees. These mandates have all encountered legal challenges.
In 2012, the White House projected there would be up to 100 million Americans affected by the mandates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 61 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated.
The order specifies that to comply with guidelines created by the task force, all new, renewed, or extended federal contracts must include a provision for second doses of COVID vaccine to be administered to employees by Jan. 4. According to the guidelines, exemptions are allowed for medical or religious reasons.
In Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, the provision was stopped by judges. This comes following Noce’s ruling earlier this month after a collective lawsuit from ten states led to the national injunction.
Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming are included in the latest injunction.
There has been some progress on Biden’s other vaccine mandates.
Three judges on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned the injunction preventing employers with more than 100 employees from requiring their workers to wear protective masks or receive vaccines.
Republicans, business associations, and several conservative groups appealed promptly to the Supreme Court.
Separate requirements for vaccination of health workers against COVID-19 have been suspended by half the states after preliminary injunctions. In response to these orders from a lower court, Biden’s administration asked for the Supreme Court to overturn them.