Judge Halts Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate In Kentucky, Ohio And Tennesse

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Kentucky issued a preliminarily injunction that will temporarily block President Biden’s mandate for federal contractors to be vaccinated from taking effect in the Commonwealth, Ohio and Tennessee.

The president’s mandate — which requires the contractors to be vaccinated by early next year — came to a halt in the three states after U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove granted a motion filed by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in November.  

In the court order, Van Tatenhove wrote: “This is not a case about whether vaccines are effective. They are. Nor is this a case about whether the government, at some level, and in some circumstances, can require citizens to obtain vaccines. It can. The question presented here is narrow. Can the president use congressionally delegated authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services to impose vaccines on the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors? In all likelihood, the answer to that question is no.”

In the initial lawsuit filed on Nov. 4, Cameron, along with the attorneys general from Ohio and Tennessee as well as two county sheriffs from Ohio said they “seek judicial relief from the President’s unlawful and unconstitutional vaccine mandate.” The Kentucky portion of the lawsuit, like Ohio’s, claimed that several workers at county jails throughout the state would end their employment if the requirement stands, which, they said, will “exacerbate the current staffing challenges at these institutions and threaten public safety.”

After the court order declaring the injunction, Cameron released a statement calling the ruling “significant.”

“This is a significant ruling because it gives immediate relief from the federal government’s vaccine requirement to Kentuckians who either contract with the federal government or work for a federal contractor.”

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Louisiana also blocked the president’s mandate for all health care workers to be vaccinated, which is a nationwide injunction.  

According to reporting by the Courier Journal, many local vaccine deadlines for workers at the Louisville area’s large health care providers have already passed. 

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