Yes, Covid-19 vaccine mandates are legal
What the law says about vaccine mandates, explained.After a local pastor was fined for violating this vaccine mandate, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court told him to pound sand in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905).
A judge blocked the federal government on Monday from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers in ten states. © Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader Nurse Jody Berry draws a syringe full of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccine clinic at Mother's Brewing Company in Springfield, Mo. on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Greene County, Mo., where Mother's Brewing is located, is seeing an average of 94 new COVID-19 cases per day, 93 percent of which are the Delta Variant.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp in the Eastern District of Missouri wrote in his ruling that regulations handed down by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid earlier this month were issued improperly. The agency did not get approval from Congress to mandate vaccinations for health care workers, Schelp wrote, which he argued was necessary given the mandate's "vast economic and political significance." The rules were also issued without a standard period for public comment, which Schelp said the agency's justification for was not suitable.
Over 95 Percent of Federal Workers Complying with Biden's COVID Vaccine Mandate
Monday was the deadline for more than 3.5 million federal workers to get at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine without an option for frequent testing.Monday was set as the deadline for more than 3.5 million federal workers to get at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine without an option for frequent testing, the Associated Press reported.
"Truly, the impact of this mandate reaches far beyond COVID," Schelp wrote. "CMS seeks to overtake an area of traditional state authority by imposing an unprecedented demand to federally dictate the private medical decisions of millions of Americans. Such action challenges traditional notions of federalism."
Vaccine mandate lawsuits: Missouri sues to stop federal requirements for health care workers
Schelp also labeled the mandate "arbitrary and capricious," arguing that CMS "lacks evidence showing that vaccination status has a direct impact on spreading COVID" in the covered health care facilities; the agency has primarily pointed to data from long-term care facilities in its defense.
"No one questions that protecting patients and health care workers from contracting COVID is a laudable objective," he wrote. "But the court cannot, in good faith, allow CMS to enact an unprecedented mandate that lacks a 'rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.'"
Washington Nationals sued by ex-employees over vaccine firing
The Washington Nationals are being sued by two former employees who were fired for refusing to comply with the team’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Lawrence (Larry) Pardo and Brad Holman were pitching coaches in the Nats’ organization. The two refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons and were fired by the Nats as a result. The team instituted a mandate on Aug. 12 that went into effect on Sept. 10, leading to the firing of both men.Now the two have filed a lawsuit against the club, TMZ Sports reports.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt led the lawsuit, alongside Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota and New Hampshire. Schelp's order blocks the federal government from requiring providers in those states to require vaccination for workers.
More: Omicron, the newest coronavirus variant: How to pronounce it, how it got its Greek name, and what it means
Schmitt, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, called the ruling a "huge victory for health care workers in Missouri and across the country, including rural hospitals who were facing near certain collapse due to this mandate." Schmitt has been among the most vocal state-level opponents to Biden administration vaccine orders, also suing to block mandates for large private sector businesses and federal employees and contractors. Both of those mandates are under litigation in several courts, and the latter is currently blocked.
Court battles drag on as Biden looks to revive employer vaccine mandate
A day after the Biden administration filed documents seeking to reinstate its workplace vaccine-or-test mandate, court battles over its legality rage on as new suits continue to accumulate. © Provided by Washington Examiner The White House has asked a federal appeals court in Cincinnati to lift its order blocking the rule, which requires federal employees, contractors, and businesses with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or submit to weekly testing and masking on the job.
The workforces of many of the largest health care providers in Missouri are almost entirely vaccinated against COVID-19, due to internal requirements issued earlier this year. Mercy, which employs 40,000 and has facilities throughout the state, said Oct. 28 that 100 percent of staff members were fully vaccinated. Springfield-based CoxHealth said at the end of September that 85 percent of its 12,500 employees had received at least one dose or received an extension to get a vaccine. "Less than two percent" of Mercy's workforce did not get vaccinated, and approximately 50 Cox employees resigned due to its mandate.
Missouri ranks last in the nation for percentage of nursing home staff vaccinated against COVID — currently standing at 58.77%, according to data compiled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid.
More: Who is covered by Biden's new vaccine mandates and when do they go into effect? Here's what we know.
Galen Bacharier covers Missouri politics & government for the News-Leader. Contact him at [email protected], (573) 219-7440 or on Twitter @galenbacharier.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states
Senate Republicans move to block Biden's vaccine mandate with help from Democrats Manchin, Tester .
The effort is unlikely to get anywhere in the House. The fate of the mandate will lie in the hands of the courts, which are weighing challenges.Biden announced this fall that businesses with 100 or more employers would have to require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, or be tested at least weekly. The rule, issued through the federal Occupational Safety and Hazards Administration, is already on hold thanks to the ruling last month of a federal appeals court which called it "staggeringly overbroad.