The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia issued a temporary injunction halting the enforcement of a vaccine mandate for federal contractors. The order applies throughout the United States.
District Judge R. Stan Baker sided with the Associated Builders and Contractors, who argued that the federal government lacks the authority to enforce the mandate.
“The Court acknowledges the tragic toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought throughout the nation and the globe,” Baker wrote in a 28-page ruling. “However, even in times of crisis this Court must preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the bounds of their constitutionally granted authorities.”
Baker noted the mandate, which applies to millions of workers around the country, is “costly, laborious and likely to result in a reduction in available members of the workforce.”
“It will also have a major impact on the economy at large, as it limits contractors’ and members of the workforce’s ability to perform work on federal contracts. Accordingly, it appears to have vast economic and political significance,” Baker wrote.
The ruling is another setback for the Biden administration as it attempts to create a nationwide vaccine requirement. Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky issued a similar ruling that applied to Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Courts have also blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from enforcing a rule that requires all businesses with at least 100 employees to ensure all workers are vaccinated or are regularly tested for COVID-19.