Dec 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo of Joe Biden in a suit

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

What they're saying: "While the Procurement Act explicitly and unquestionably bestows some authority upon the president, the Court is unconvinced, at this stage of litigation, that it authorized him to direct the type of actions" contained in the executive order issuing the mandate, U.S. District Judge R. Stan Baker wrote in a ruling that echoed the others.

  • The mandate and its "resulting impact radiate too far beyond the purposes of the Procurement Act and the authority it grants to the President."

The other side: Press secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing Tuesday that "we are confident in our ability legally to make these [mandates] happen across the country."

  • "The DOJ will vigorously defend this in court," she said in response to the decision.
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