The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday refused to stay an injunction against a vaccine mandate for federal contractors.
The 6th Circuit was split in a 2-1 decision: Majority: Suhrheinrich (George H. W. Bush appointee), Bush (Trump appointee). Dissent: Cole (Clinton appointee).
Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky filed a lawsuit against Biden and argued that nothing in the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act authorizes the contractor mandate and that the mandate violates several other federal statutes.
“In response, three states (Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) and two Ohio sheriffs’ offices filed suit. They collectively alleged that nothing in the Property Act authorizes the contractor mandate, that the contractor mandate violates various other federal statutes, and that its intrusion upon traditional state prerogatives raises serious constitutional concerns under federalism principles and the Tenth Amendment. The district court agreed. It enjoined enforcement of the contractor mandate throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It also denied the subsequent motion of the federal-government defendants to stay the injunction pending appeal. The government now comes to us with the same request. But because the government has established none of the showings required to obtain a stay, we DENY such relief,” Judge Bush said in his opinion.
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The panel rejects the argument that the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act allows the federal government to require vaccination for nearly one-fifth of the American workforce.
This afternoon a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the Biden Administration’s request for a stay of a lower court injunction barring enforcement of a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for employees of federal contractors in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Judge Bush wrote for the court in Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Biden, joined by Judge Suhrenreich. Judge Cole (who recently announced his intent to take senior status upon the confirmation of his successor) dissented.
Divided Sixth Circuit Panel Refuses to Stay Injunction Against Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors https://t.co/otfRqSKN40 via @reason @VolokhC
— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) January 5, 2022
There is a separate, parallel case making its way through the courts challenging the vaccine mandates for federal contractors.
A federal judge last month blocked Joe Biden’s vaccine requirement for federal contractors nationwide.
Judge Stan Baker in the US Court for the Southern District of Georgia, a Trump appointee, issued a preliminary injunction against Biden’s vaccine mandate.
The lawsuit, brought by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster along with other Republican attorneys general, argued Biden’s vaccine mandate violated the 10th Amendment.
The lawsuit also argued Biden’s vaccine mandate is unconstitutional because only Congress is allowed to make rules.
The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit did not stay that order, but ordred an expedited briefing.