Vaccination mandate blocked for federal contractors in 3 states

A federal court has halted President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal government contractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

On Nov. 30, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted a preliminary injunction, which blocks the mandate from taking effect in the three states, according to a news release from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. The block is in place until the case can be fully litigated.

"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," Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove said in his 29-page decision. "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."

The decision is in response to a lawsuit filed in early November challenging the mandate, led by Mr. Cameron alongside the states of Ohio and Tennessee, as well as two sheriffs from Ohio.

The coalition argued that the mandate is unconstitutional and that the federal government's actions regarding the requirement were "contrary to procedure, arbitrary and capricious," according to court documents.

On Sept. 9, the Biden administration signed an executive order requiring employees of contractors that do business with the federal government to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate has been set to take effect Jan. 4, 2022.

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