JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge has blocked President Joe Biden's administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on health care workers in 10 states that had brought the first legal challenge against the requirement.
The preliminary injunction issued Monday applies to Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Those states all have either a Republican attorney general or governor.
Similar lawsuits are pending in other states.
A federal judge in Missouri said the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid had no clear authority from Congress to enact the vaccine mandate for health care providers that participate in the two government programs for the elderly, disabled and poor.
The rule requires workers to receive their first dose by Dec. 6 and their second by Jan. 4.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who led the coalition of 10 states in the suit, issued a statement celebrating the injunction, calling the Biden administration’s actions “unprecedented federal overreach.”
This court order comes after the White House suffered a similar setback, where a court placed a hold on a rule requiring businesses with over 100 employees to ensure their workers get vaccinated against COVID-19 or get tested weekly for the virus.