Judge temporarily blocks federal healthcare worker vaccine mandate in 10 states

Though Democrats continue to double down on their quest to force COVID-19 vaccines on those who do not want them, President Joe Biden just suffered yet another setback in that realm, thanks to a federal court’s decision halting mandatory jabs for healthcare workers at facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicare funding.

As The Hill reports, on Monday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp put a temporary block on implementation of the vaccine mandate at issue, a ruling that applies to healthcare workers in the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The states in which the stay now applies had initiated litigation soon after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services promulgated its compulsory vaccine rule at Biden’s direction, something which opponents of the mandate contend is an unconstitutional encroachment on states’ rights an exercise of authority the agency does not possess.

Schelp’s order seems to indicate a belief in the argument that requiring healthcare workers in hospitals and other facilities receiving federal funding to receive shots as a condition of continued employment is certain to lead to dangerous staffing shortages.

The judge explained, “The scale falls clearly in favor of healthcare facilities operating with some unvaccinated employees, staff, trainees, students, volunteers and contractors, rather than the swift, irremediable impact of requiring healthcare facilities to choose between two undesirable choices – providing substandard care or providing no healthcare at all.”

The decision comes close on the heels of a ruling from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month in which a panel of that court reaffirmed a prior order blocking implementation of a vaccine requirement issued under the auspices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), also at Biden’s behest.

In that case, the appeals panel declared Biden’s vaccine and testing edicts for private enterprises with 100 or more employees “fatally flawed” as well as “staggeringly overbroad,” also stating that those challenging the rules are indeed likely to succeed on the merits when the constitutionality of the mandates are reviewed in full.

As a result of that outcome – and perhaps in anticipation of a growing list of legal challenges being mounted against Biden’s various vaccine mandates – OSHA announced recently that it would suspend implementation and enforcement of its recently promulgated rules, pending further adjudication.

Though the Biden administration has brashly urged businesses to continue moving ahead with mandate-related planning, the Fifth Circuit’s stay, combined with the halt on forced vaccination of healthcare workers in the aforementioned states, are both encouraging signs that the president’s authoritarian tendencies are poised to be placed firmly in check – hopefully in the very near future.