In another legal setback for the Biden administration, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government cannot enforce its COVID vaccine mandate on federal contractors.
The Monday 2-1 decision noted:
“The President’s use of procurement regulations to reach through an employing contractor to force obligations on individual employees is truly unprecedented.”
The ruling added: “As such, Executive Order 14042 is unlawful, and the Plaintiff States have consequently demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits.”
In an uncharacteristic rebuke, the Court noted its concern of government overreach and chided the Biden administration’s decision to bypass Congress via executive order in an attempt to push forward the mandate initiative.
“Congress has not spoken clearly to authorize such a dramatic shift in the exercise of the President’s power under the Procurement Act,” the Court wrote.
Judge James Graves dissented in the ruling, noting that the decision to overrule Biden’s executive order was the first time such an order was struck down under the Procurement Act.
Graves wrote: “When actions taken are in the mainstream of American businesses, that points towards permitting the executive order.”
Graves added: “Economic factors would prevent the president from handicapping the contractor workforce with extreme contractual terms.”
Indiana, Louisiana and Mississippi originally filed the case. The Daily Wire noted that in December 2021, a district court blocked enforcement of a vaccine mandate for federal contractors.
The Biden administration appealed the case.
Reuters noted the far-reaching implications of the suit, reporting that the government mandate impacts “up to 20% of America’s workforce.”
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry celebrated the ruling, noting in a statement. “Today is a victory for freedom. We will continue to stand up against the Biden Administration’s abuses of power that threaten us now and in the future.”
The Daily Wire reported that similar cases are pending in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. Monday’s ruling will likely impact those cases.
In another notable ruling on Monday, a federal judge approved a class action settlement granting $10 million for workers at an Illinois healthcare system.
The judge ruled that Biden administration policies did not properly allow “front line” workers to be exempt from the vaccine mandate due to religious objections.
Less than two weeks ago, Reuters reported that the “White House slammed Congress” for reversing the vaccine mandate for military personnel. Bipartisan congressional approval to rescind the mandate came amid increased reports of adverse reactions and minimal efficacy.
Liberty Counsel Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel Harry Mihet said of the ruling:
“After many months and long hours, we are pleased to finally get the court’s final approval of this classwide settlement for these health care workers who were unlawfully discriminated against and denied religious exemptions from the COVID shot mandate.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.