Another judge halts Biden's vax mandate for federal contractors

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

This seems like it’s becoming an almost weekly ritual at this point. Yet another federal judge has issued an injunction blocking another of President Joe Biden’s vaccination mandates, this time applying to a mandate for all federal contractors. If it goes into effect, it would apply to roughly one-quarter of the private sector workforce, including some of the nation’s largest employers who have contracts with the federal government. U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker of the Southern District of Georgia ruled that the seven states seeking relief from the mandate were “likely to succeed in their lawsuits,” so the order has been placed on hold. This ruling comes on the heels of a similar ruling made last week in a suit brought by three other states. At this point, the mandate is pretty much universally on hold less than a month before it was scheduled to go into effect. (Daily Wire)

A federal judge in Georgia has blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

According to Bloomberg, the judge halted the mandate nationwide, which was originally mandated by President Joe Biden in September. The decision follows a preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge in Kentucky, who was presiding over a case involving Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

The mandate would have taken effect on January 4th, and would have affected about 25% of the U.S. workforce, including employees of companies like Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Google, and General Motors, Bloomberg reported.

In his ruling, Judge Baker went on to say that the mandate would have a “major impact on the economy at large, as it limits contractors’ and members of the workforce’s ability to perform work on federal contractors.” He further declared that the mandate “appears to have vast economic and political significance.”

The government’s arguments in defense of the mandate have largely centered on claims that the vaccines would be effective in stopping the spread of COVID. This lawsuit sidesteps that argument. Nothing in the suit claims that the vaccines are ineffective. The plaintiffs instead argued, and the judge agree, that the President simply lacks the authority to issue such a sweeping decree affecting so many people. They further pointed out that the mandate would create an onerous burden on the economy and cause the loss of valuable employees who are not yet vaccinated.

Associated Builders and Contractors, which represents a large number of companies in the construction industry with federal contracts, joined the suit along with the seven states. Their spokesperson said that the federal contractor mandate would create even more issues for construction firms that are already facing a manpower shortage of more than 400,000 workers. That would be on top of the issues they are having with supply chain failures and a shortage of construction materials.

At this point, pretty much all of Biden’s vaccine mandates impacting the private sector have been put on hold by the courts. The Fifth, Sixth, and even the Ninth Circuit have been swatting them down like flies. You might think that the White House would be taking the hint by this point, but apparently not. Jen Psaki issued a statement saying, in part, “we are confident in our ability, legally, to make these happen across the country.”

That confidence may turn out to be misplaced. A herd of federal judges have weighed in already and almost none of them agree with Joe Biden’s claim to be able to wield that much power without the consent of Congress.