Dec. 8, 2021 -- A federal judge in Georgia temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors on Tuesday, setting back the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
The nationwide block adds to the latest moves to stop the Biden administration’s mandates. Federal judges in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Missouri temporarily halted the federal government from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.
“While the Procurement Act explicitly and unquestionably bestows some authority upon the president, the Court is unconvinced, at this stage of litigation, that it authorized him to direct the types of actions” included in the executive order for the vaccine mandate, R. Stan Baker, the U.S. district judge for the Southern District of Georgia, wrote in his ruling.
The mandate and its “resulting impact radiate too far beyond the purposes of the Procurement Act and the authority it grants to the President,” he continued.
The Biden administration and Department of Justice will “vigorously defend” the case in court, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said during a news briefing on Tuesday.
“We are confident in our ability legally to make these [mandates] happen across the country,” she said.
Now, all three of Biden’s vaccine mandates affecting the private sector have been put on hold by courts, according to The New York Times. Tuesday’s ruling halted the mandate for employees of federal contractors, and last week’s rulings blocked the requirements for health care workers and companies with more than 100 employees.
The Department of Justice has also asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans to withdraw its block on mandates for large companies, arguing that it’s within the administration’s power to require employers to make their workers get vaccinated.
Several challenges to the mandates are pending in other courts, the Times reported, and the Supreme Court is expected to eventually decide on some cases.