Political and social battles continue to be waged, not just in Congress but in federal appellate courts as well.
On Wednesday, a federal appellate court revived a Biden administration COVID vaccine mandate in 26 states, as Reuters reported.
The mandate would require millions of U.S. health care workers to be vaccinated if they work anywhere that is federally funded.
This decision came from a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The panel ruled that a lower court did have the authority to block the mandate in the 14 states that had sued the administration, but that the lower court was wrong in imposing a nationwide injunction, CNBC News reported.
In the ruling’s explanation, the 5th Circuit noted that the federal judge that had imposed the nationwide injunction against the mandate had given “little justification for issuing an injunction outside the 14 states that brought this suit,” Fierce Healthcare reported.
The mandate remains blocked in 10 other states by a federal judge’s ruling from Nov. 29, so 26 states are under the mandate once again.
This is a rare win for the administration after its other mandates have faced challenges in the courts and have been struck down in many states.
The Biden administration has issued several sweeping mandates, aimed at trying to boost the vaccination rates of the U.S.
One of the mandates required that health care facilities get all staff vaccinated by Dec. 6, or they would lose funding from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as NBC News reported.
In response to the health care vaccination mandate, 14 states sued the administration.
Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia joined in the suit.
The Biden administration argued that requiring the vaccine for health care workers would save lives.
However, though the 5th Circuit Court did side with the administration, it said in its ruling that the administration had “not made a strong showing that it was likely to prove during the litigation that it has the authority to impose the rule,” Reuters reported.
The panel was made up of Judge Leslie Southwick, appointed by former President George W. Bush, and Judges James Graves and Gregg Costa, both appointed by former President Barack Obama, as Reuters reported.
This is a moderate win for the Biden administration, but with lawsuits from states still moving forward, the decision from the 5th Circuit Court has the possibility of being modified or overturned at a later date.
Separately, last week a Texas judge granted a preliminary injunction to the state of Texas against the vaccine mandate, as The Hill reported.
Despite the small win from the 5th Circuit, the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates are not faring well nationwide.
CORRECTION, Dec. 21, 2021: As originally published, this article referred to the legal status of Biden’s vaccine mandate in 40 states. For clarity, we’ve added the fact that the mandate remains blocked in the 10 other states by a separate federal court ruling.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.