Federal judge’s ruling halts vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states

A federal judge on Monday blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on thousands of health care workers in 10 states that had brought the first legal challenge against the requirement.

The court order said that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid had no clear authority from Congress to enact the vaccine mandate for providers participating in the two government health care programs for the elderly, disabled and poor.

The preliminary injunction by St. Louis-based U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp applies to a coalition of suing states that includes Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Similar lawsuits also are pending in other states.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt held a press conference Monday afternoon to make a statement in response to the judge’s ruling.

“What the court said today was that the Biden administration has no authority, there’s no statutory authority for them to do this – none whatsoever,” he said during the press conference.

Schmitt said he expects the Department of Justice to appeal the ruling and expects this case to go to the Supreme Court.

“If you talk to the men and women in the health care field, who by the way a year ago were being honored as heroes and are threatened to be put on the unemployment line, they welcome this news,” he said.


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