The Last Domino Falls – The Beginning of the End of the Government Contractor Vaccine Mandate?

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On November 30, the District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky enjoined the government contractor vaccine mandate issued in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 14042. This injunction follows an injunction issued on November 29 of the CMS vaccine mandate and the earlier injunction of the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard by the Fifth Circuit.

The opinion, which is available here, holds that the litigants – which included Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio – have a substantial likelihood of succeeding on the argument that the vaccine mandate exceeds the president’s statutory authority under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act and the Competition in Contracting Act. The court also found that the administration likely violated the non-delegation doctrine by exercising statutory authority “it does not have,” and that the mandate improperly intrudes on health and safety matters reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment.

While the scope of the injunction is limited to Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio, it is possible the other district courts considering challenges to the government contractor mandate will reach the same conclusion. In addition, there will almost certainly be an immediate appeal.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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