Weapons Complex Monitor Vol. 34 No. 48
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Weapons Complex Monitor
Article 7 of 10
December 15, 2023

Supreme Court agrees to vacate ruling against Biden’s contractor vax mandate

By Staff Reports

Supreme Court agrees to vacate ruling against Biden’s contractor vax mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday agreed to vacate a national preliminary injunction against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal contractors, after the Justice Department argued the issue became moot when pandemic emergency measures ended this spring.

The court Monday granted a petition filed by Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar in July asking the high court to reconsider a majority ruling issued by the New Orleans-based U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in March.

The court, an independent branch of the federal government, vacated the Fifth Circuit ruling with direction to have the nationwide preliminary injunction, issued by a U.S. District Court judge in Texas, declared moot. A list of the Monday orders by the Supreme Court is available here.

Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented, saying the Biden administration had not shown it was entitled to the remedy.

With the legal dispute now moot, the Fifth Circuit ruling in favor of Feds for Medical Freedom won’t be wielded as a precedent in future vaccination lawsuits, according to an article in The Hill, cited on SCOTUS blog. The contractor dispute was one of several COVID cases tossed Monday by the Supreme Court, according to CNN. 

In March, the full Fifth Circuit court reversed a ruling issued in April 2022 by its own three-judge panel and upheld the nationwide injunction sought by Feds for Medical Freedom.

Vaccination mandates for federal employees and contractors ended May 11.  “Since January 2021, COVID-19 deaths have declined by 95%, and hospitalizations are down nearly 91%,” the White House said in a May 1 press release

Attorneys for Feds for Medical Freedom said in a filing with the Supreme Court that a live controversy still exists because many online federal job announcements still require COVID-19 vaccination for employment, even though the Department of Energy has stopped requiring proof of vaccination.

 

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