As numerous challenges carry on against the Biden administration's unprecedented vaccine mandates, on Tuesday, a federal court in Georgia ruled to halt the president's demand for federal contractors' employees to receive the experimental COVID-19 "vaccines." The latest court order follows a Kentucky court's decision last week that Biden's narrative of "if you want to work with the federal government, vaccinate your workforce" amounted to overreach in contracts.
Set to go into effect on Jan. 4, 2022, the vaccine mandate covers close to a quarter of the U.S. workforce and significantly impacts companies that do business with the federal government. In its ruling, the court emphasizes the significant potential economic and political impact that Executive Order 14042 (EO 14042) may have, explaining it "goes beyond the administration and management of procurement and contracting."
Indeed, Judge R. Stan Baker asserts that by "requiring a significant number of individuals across the country working in a broad range of positions and in numerous different industries to be vaccinated or face a severe risk of losing their job," the mandate essentially operates as a regulation of public health, severely limiting contractors' and members of the workforce's ability to perform on federal contracts.
Joining Georgia in the legal challenge of the federal contractor vaccine mandate are attorneys general from West Virginia, South Carolina, Utah, Idaho, Alabama, and Kansas. Speaking of Tuesday's victory, Attorney General Steve Marshall of Alabama said in a statement:
"Today's ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia places a nationwide injunction on President Biden's federal-contractor vaccine mandate and represents the third victory by Alabama and a coalition of states to block enforcement of the President's tyrannical dictates.
President Biden's lawless and authoritarian vaccine mandate on federal contractors—just as with his vaccine mandates for private employers and healthcare workers—is a contemptible infringement upon individual liberty, federalism, and the separation of powers. The courts have rightfully responded in each case by blocking the enforcement of these mandates."
Acknowledging the "tragic toll" the COVID-19 pandemic has bestowed upon the nation and world, Judge Baker reminded that "even in times of crisis, the Court must preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the bounds of their constitutionally granted authorities." The order notes the strong interest in combatting the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, that interest does not permit the government to "act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends." The order states:
"In this case, Plaintiffs will likely succeed in their claim that the President exceeded the authorization given to him by Congress through the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act when issuing Executive Order 14042."
The ruling questions whether Congress, through the Procurement Act, has "clearly" granted authority to the President to issue the directives contained in EO 14042. Or, instead, it ponders whether EO 14042 "bring[s] about an enormous and transformative expansion in...regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization." Furthermore, the Court adds, "even if, however, EO 14042 did not trigger the precise requirement that Congress' speak clearly' in authorizing the vaccine mandates, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have a likelihood of proving that EO 14042 does not have sufficient nexus to the purposes of the Procurement Act and thus does not fall within the authority actually granted to the President in that Act."
For several reasons explained in the order, the Court finds that the directives contained within the EO were not authorized by the Procurement Act, stating that any deference to the President's authority was expressly not intended to operate as "a blank check for the President to fill in at his will." Despite Defendants plea that "more harm would come from delaying the vaccination of the thousands of currently unvaccinated individuals working on federal contracts (thereby permitting the continued spread of COVID-19)," the Court disagreed, further explaining:
"Following the Defendants' logic and reasoning, the Procurement Act would be construed to give the President the right to impose virtually any kind of requirement on businesses that wish to contract with the Government (and, thereby, on those businesses' employees) so long as he determines it could lead to a healthier and thus more efficient workforce or it could reduce absenteeism."
In a testament to perseverance as litigation surrounding the draconian vaccine agenda continues, currently, all three of President Biden's vaccine mandates—federal contractor, private employer, and healthcare worker—have been blocked nationwide by federal courts.