A United States federal judge issued a preliminary injunction to block President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers a week before it was set to go into effect.
Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana wrote on Nov. 30 that the Biden administration had no authority to bypass Congress in enforcing the vaccine mandate to all health workers nationwide.
“There is no question that mandating a vaccine to 10.3 million healthcare workers is something that should be done by Congress, not a government agency. It is not clear that even an Act of Congress mandating a vaccine would be constitutional,” Doughty, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, wrote.
“During a pandemic such as this one, it is even more important to safeguard the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution to avoid erosion of our liberties,” Doughty further wrote.
Doughty also said that the citizens of the 14 states that filed the lawsuit would “suffer irreparable injury… because they will have to choose between losing their jobs or taking the vaccine.”
“Additionally, the health care facilities and suppliers will be burdened with the task of tracking and enforcing the mandate or else face the loss of Medicare and Medicaid funding,” Doughty further said.
The injunction came a day after a federal court in Missouri issued a separate order to temporarily block the mandate in 10 states.
The mandate requires health workers in hospitals and nursing homes nationwide to get at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 6 and to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.
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