Judge Halts Biden's Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers Nationwide
22:52 GMT 30.11.2021 (Updated: 00:04 GMT 01.12.2021)
© REUTERS / MIKE SEGARA demonstrator holds a sign during a protest by New York City Fire Department (FDNY) union members, municipal workers and others, against the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandates on Manhattan's Upper East Side, in New York City, New York, U.S., October 28, 2021.
Cases against the administration's vaccine mandate have been filed in a number of states, alleging that the president overstepped his jurisdiction because such a policy requires congressional approval under the US Constitution.
A US court in Louisiana blocked the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all healthcare employees on Monday.
Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana stated in the ruling that the plaintiff state's motion to halt the mandate implementation is granted.
"Therefore, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, along with their directors, employees, Administrators and Secretaries are hereby ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from implementing the CMS Mandate as to all healthcare providers, suppliers, owners, employees, and all others covered by said CMS Mandate," the document reads.
in the ruling, the judge wrote that "If the separation of powers meant anything to the Constitutional framers, it meant that the three necessary ingredients to deprive a person of liberty or property – the power to make rules, to enforce them, and to judge their violations – could never fall into the same hands."
In his decision, Doughty argued that the Biden administration lacked the constitutional authority to bypass Congress by issuing such a mandate.
"If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands," Doughty stated. "If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency."
According to the judge, in the current pandemic, it is important to maintain the separation of powers in order to "avoid the erosion of our liberties." And because the states which filed lawsuits in the first place "have satisfied all four elements required for a preliminary injunction to issue," the WDLA court ruled that "a preliminary injunction should be issued against the Government Defendants."
"This matter will ultimately be decided by a higher court than this one," Doughty stressed. "However, it is important to preserve the status quo in this case. The liberty interests of the unvaccinated requires nothing less."
He also noted that a national injunction was required because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Mandate was national in scope and "uniformity" was needed.
"Therefore, the scope of this injunction will be nationwide, except for the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, since these ten states are already under a preliminary injunction order dated November 29, 2021, out of the Eastern District of Missouri," Doughty ruled. "This preliminary injunction shall remain in effect pending the final resolution of this case, or until further orders from this Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, or the United States Supreme Court."
The verdict was applauded by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who criticized Biden for "villainizing" the US healthcare heroes with his "jab or job" edicts.
"I applaud Judge Doughty for recognizing that Louisiana is likely to succeed on the merits and for delivering yet another victory for the medical freedom of Americans," said Landry. "While Joe Biden villainizes our healthcare heroes with his ‘jab or job’ edicts, I will continue to stand up to the President's bully tactics and fight for liberty."
Doughty's decision follows a similar one issued by US District Judge Matthew Schelp of Missouri on Monday, but Schelp's order only applied to ten states.
The defendants must immediately stop implementing or enforcing the mandate with Comment Period for all Medicare and Medicaid approved providers and suppliers in those ten states, according to the court. The judge also stated that the defendants are preliminarily barred from carrying out and enforcing this mandate.
Attorneys general from 13 other states joined Louisiana in the case against the mandate.
24 November 2021, 00:31 GMT
The CMS issued an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period on November 4 that mandates that nearly every employee, volunteer, and third-party contractor working at 15 types of healthcare facilities be vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees were required to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.
Ten US states filed a lawsuit contesting the mandate five days later. Several state attorneys general said in November that they will sue the Biden administration over the new COVID-19 immunization mandates for enterprises with at least 100 employees.