Federal Judge Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for U.S. Healthcare Workers

New York
John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx/AP, File

President Joe Biden took another legal hit on Tuesday when a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against his national vaccine mandate for healthcare workers just one week prior to its December 6 start date.

Issued by Judge Terry A. Doughty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the injunction expanded a previous order issued on Monday by a federal court in Missouri, which halted the vaccine mandate in 10 plaintiff states. Tuesday’s order will apply nationwide, temporarily halting Biden’s mandate that hospital and healthcare workers receive at least one shot of the vaccine by December 6 and both doses by January 4, 2022.

In his decision, Doughty argued that the “separation of powers” created by the Founding Fathers barred a single branch of government from depriving people of “liberty or property,” noting that “indefinite states of emergency” can be abused by the Executive branch to deprive people of such rights.

If the Executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the Legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by the Constitution would be in the same hands. If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.

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. Because the Plaintiff States have satisfied all four elements required for a preliminary injunction to issue, this Court has determined that a preliminary injunction should issue against the Government Defendants.

This matter will ultimately be decided by a higher court than this one. However, it is important to preserve the status quo in this case. The liberty interests of the unvaccinated requires nothing less.

Doughty reasoned that the injunction would be “nationwide” as opposed to the fourteen plaintiff states due to the unvaccinated workers “in other states who also need protection.”

“This preliminary injunction shall remain in effect pending the final resolution of this case, or until further orders from this Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, or the United States Supreme Court,” it concluded.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry applauded the decision on Tuesday, referring to the president’s vaccine mandate as a bully tactic.

“While Joe Biden villainizes our healthcare heroes with his ‘jab or job’ edicts, I will continue to stand up to the President’s bully tactics and fight for liberty,” said Landry.

The case is Louisiana v. Becerra, No. 3:21-cv-3970 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

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