On Monday, a federal court ruled that the Biden administration cannot enforce its COVID-19 vaccine mandate on federal contractors.
A 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the mandate in a 2-1 decision.
“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 explained. “Nor are historical exercises of that power sufficient to demonstrate a long-standing understanding that the Procurement Act could be used in this way.”
“The President’s use of procurement regulations to reach through an employing contractor to force obligations on individual employees is truly unprecedented,” the court continued. “As such, Executive Order 14042 is unlawful, and the Plaintiff States have consequently demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits.”
“We do not, and cannot, rule on the efficacy of any vaccine, the wisdom of the President’s action, or even whether or not this action would, in fact, increase economy and efficiency in federal contracting. Today, we are asked, where Congress has not authorized the issuance of this mandate, whether the President may nonetheless exercise this power. We hold that he may not,” the court concluded.
The case had been filed by the states of Indiana, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
“Today is a victory for freedom,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement responding to the ruling. “We will continue to stand up against the Biden Administration’s abuses of power that threaten us now and in the future.”