A federal judge in Louisiana on Tuesday issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers, The New York Times reports.
Judge Terry A. Doughty in the US District Court Western District of Louisiana ruled in favor of a request from Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to block an emergency regulation issued November 4 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that required the COVID shot for nearly every full-time employee, part-time employee, volunteer, and contractor working at a wide range of healthcare facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicaid funding.
Louisiana was joined in the lawsuit by attorneys general in 13 other states.
Doughty argued in his ruling that the Biden administration does not have the constitutional authority to go around Congress by issuing such a mandate.
“There is no question that mandating a vaccine to 10.3 million health care workers is something that should be done by Congress, not a government agency,” Doughty wrote. He added: “It is not clear that even an act of Congress mandating a vaccine would be constitutional.”
“If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands,” he wrote. “If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.
“During a pandemic such as this one, it is even more important to safeguard the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution to avoid erosion of our liberties,” he added.
Landry praised the ruling, saying in a statement, “I applaud Judge Doughty for recognizing that Louisiana is likely to succeed on the merits and for delivering yet another victory for the medical freedom of Americans. While Joe Biden villainizes our healthcare heroes with his ‘jab or job’ edicts, I will continue to stand up to the President’s bully tactics and fight for liberty.”