US court temporarily blocks vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Dec 7, 2021, 5:24 PM
federal vaccine mandate...
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: U.S. President Joe Biden removes his face mask as he arrives to speak in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus October 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden spoke about the coronavirus pandemic and encouraged states and businesses to support vaccine mandates to avoid a surge in cases of Covid-19. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia temporarily blocked a vaccine mandate for federal contract workers on Tuesday afternoon.

This prevents the Biden administration from enforcing the rule, saying the President has exceeded his authority when he issued the mandate. 

The judge issuing the injunction sided with a trade organization, Associated Builders and Contractors, along with the state of Utah and six other states which had joined the lawsuit.

The executive order, signed by President Biden on Sept. 9, orders all businesses that contract the federal government to provide “adequate COVID-19 safeguards” for their workers. Later, a federal task force determined that “adequate COVID-19 safeguards” would include all covered contractors to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 18, 2022.

“The court’s decision today should be welcome news for the millions of federal contractor employees who deserve the peace of mind to keep their jobs and make important health decisions without unconstitutional government coercion,” said Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes.

“The courts had already granted us national injunctions on the vaccine mandates for private companies and for healthcare workers. Now, we have obtained a national injunction on the mandate for federal contractors. We are confident in our legal arguments for these cases if the Supreme Court decides to hear any or all of them.”

Last week, a Kentucky judge ordered a preliminary injunction in a similar case involving Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

The Biden Administration was told to pause vaccine and testing mandates for businesses with 100 or more employees.

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