Judge halts vaccine mandate for health workers in ten states

A Missouri federal judge, Matthew Schelp, has just issued an order temporarily blocking the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers in ten states. The states are Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. These are the states whose attorneys general filed the lawsuit in question.

The mandate is now blocked in these states while litigation on the merits of the mandate proceeds. The underlying issue on the merits is whether the feds have the power to impose such a mandate, not whether the mandate is a good idea.

The granting of a temporary injunction is not, of course, a final ruling on the merits. However, the standard for such a grant requires an inquiry into whether the parties seeking the injunction are likely to succeed on the merits.

Judge Schlep, a Trump appointee, apparently sees the likelihood of success by the ten states to be substantial. He stated:

Congress did not clearly authorize CMS to enact this politically and economically vast, federalism-altering, and boundary-pushing mandate, which Supreme Court precedent requires.

That sounds right to me.

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