On Tuesday, a federal judge prevented President Joe Biden’s government from imposing COVID-19 vaccine tasks on federal contractors’ employees. This is the latest in a series of Republican-led states’ victories against Biden’s pandemic policy. .
U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker in Augusta, Georgia ordered a national prohibition of the authorization.
The order was in response to lawsuits from several contractors and seven states (Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia). It applies to the entire United States, because one of the people who challenged the order was the trading group Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., whose members conduct business across the country.
Baker found that when Biden issued the request in September, the states were likely to succeed in claiming that Biden exceeded Congress’ authorization.
“The court recognized the tragic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, both nationally and globally,” the judge appointed by former President Donald Trump wrote. “However, even in times of crisis, this court must uphold the rule of law and ensure that all government departments act within the powers granted by its constitution.”
A White House spokesperson said that the Justice Department will continue to defend this authorization.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Tuesday: “The reason we made these requirements is that we know they are effective, and we are confident that we are capable of legally fulfilling these requirements nationwide.”
A federal judge in Kentucky also issued a preliminary injunction against the authorization last week, but it only applies to contractors in the three co-sponsored states—Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Biden issued an executive order on September 9 requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to comply with workplace safety guidelines set by the federal task force. The working group subsequently issued guidelines, and new, renewed or extended contracts include a clause requiring employees to be fully vaccinated by January 18. This means that those who receive two doses of the vaccine must get the second dose before January 4.
For medical or religious reasons, limited exceptions are allowed. These requirements will apply to millions of employees of federal contractors, including defense companies and airlines.
Ben Brubeck, vice president of the construction industry group, said: “This is a major victory in removing compliance barriers in the construction industry, which is facing economic challenges such as a labor shortage of 430,000, rising material prices and supply chain issues.” In a statement.
Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said in a Twitter message that the ruling will provide relief to “workers who are afraid of being forced to choose between vaccines and livelihoods”.
Other Republican officials also praised the court’s ruling. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the authorization was “just a heinous over-expansion of the federal government”.
According to Tuesday’s ruling, all three of Biden’s extensive vaccine missions affecting the private sector have been shelved by the court.The judge has issued a suspension order for one business that applies to businesses with 100 or more employees and another business that applies to healthcare workers across the United States
In addition, Biden has put forward vaccine requirements for employees of the federal government and the military.
These authorizations are a key part of the government’s strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 788,000 Americans since last year.