On Tuesday, Federal Judge Terry A. Doughty in the U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana (Monroe) sided with South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and blocked the federal government from requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID 19. South Carolina is one of 14 states suing to stop the mandate, arguing that President Biden does not have the authority for the mandate because, among other things, it violates the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states or to the people any powers not expressly given to the federal government.
Attorney General Wilson says this fight is not about vaccines but about the President following the law. “The Biden Administration has struck out in court yet again. That is because the President does not respect the rule of law but only the abuse of power,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Our brave healthcare workers should not be subjected to such overreach by a President who wishes to rule by force.”
While the rule is blocked, the government cannot force healthcare workers to get vaccinated. However, hospitals and private employers can still require vaccinations on their own.
The lawsuit points out the numerous legal problems with the mandate.
- The mandate exceeds the authority of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- It violates the Social Security Act’s prohibition on regulations that control the selection and tenure of healthcare workers.
- The mandate is arbitrary and capricious.
- It violates the Spending Clause.
- It violates the Anti-Commandeering doctrine.
- It’s unconstitutional because it violates the Tenth Amendment.
In addition, it also violates the Administrative Procedures Act’s notice-and-comment requirement, the Congressional Review Act’s publication-and-review requirements, and the Social Security Act’s consultation and regulatory-impact-analysis requirements.
Ironically, instead of promoting public health, this mandate endangers the vulnerable people who are supposed to be protected by Medicare and Medicaid—the poor, sick, and elderly—by forcing termination of millions of healthcare workers who are essential to providing healthcare services.
The lawsuit asks the Court to hold that the vaccine mandate is unlawful and vacate it, while preliminarily and permanently blocking the Biden Administration from implementing it.
You can read the lawsuit here.