July 22, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Judge blocks vaccine mandate for federal contractors in KS

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A federal judge in Georgia has blocked the federal contractor vaccine mandate which would have required employees at any company that does business with the federal government to be vaccinated by Jan. 18, 2022.

Federal Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Stan Baker, accepted the Constitutional arguments put forth by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and six other state attorneys general, that the Biden Administration exceeded the authority granted it by Congress and likewise was intruding upon state sovereignty under the 10th amendment.

Other states in the suit include Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina,
Utah and West Virginia.

Baker ruled, in granting a preliminary injunction, that not only were the plaintiffs likely to succeed on the merits of their case — but that granting the injunction would also prevent irreparable injury to the plaintiffs and was also in the public interest.

It’s the third such vaccine mandate loss for the administration in recent weeks.

According to a release from Schmidt’s office, in the ruling, the court found that the executive order “goes far beyond addressing administrative and management issues in order to promote efficiency and economy in procurement and contracting, and instead, in application, works as a regulation of public health, which is not clearly authorized under the Procurement Act.”

Courts have previously blocked both a private business mandate through the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and another for health workers through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Federal courts continue to recognize that these overreaching, one-size-fits-all mandates from the Biden administration are unlawful,” Schmidt said in the release. “I continue to encourage Kansans to be vaccinated, but that personal health care decision should be made by each individual and not mandated by the federal government.”

In Kansas, a new state law enacted last month requires all employers, both public and private sector, to accommodate employee requests for relief from COVID-19 vaccine requirements on medical grounds or the ground that the requirement would violate a sincerely held religious belief of the employee and for religious requests forbids employers from “inquiring into the sincerity of the request” by the employee.

The judge noted in his ruling, “As another Court that has preliminarily enjoined the same measure at issue in this case has stated, ‘[t]his case is not about whether vaccines are effective. They are.’ Moreover, the Court acknowledges the tragic toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought throughout the nation and the globe. However, even in times of crisis this Court must preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the bounds of their constitutionally granted authorities. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that, while the public indisputably ‘has a strong interest in combating the spread of [COVID-19],’ that interest does not permit the government to ‘act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends.'”

Baker then added: “In this case, Plaintiffs will likely succeed in their claim that the President exceeded the authorization given to him by Congress through the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act when issuing Executive Order 14042.

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