Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Federal judge blocks healthcare worker vaccine mandate

Vaccination healthcare concept. Hands of doctor or nurse in medical gloves injecting a shot of vaccine to a man patient

Photo: Getty Images

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A federal judge has blocked the federal government from requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Officials with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said federal Judge Terry A. Doughty in the U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana sided with Attorney General Alan Wilson in a lawsuit challenging the mandate.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, 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.

“Another Biden vaccine mandate has been stopped in its tracks by the court,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement. ”The rule of law must prevail. We will continue this fight until no South Carolinian has to choose between the vaccine and their job.”

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, the attorney general’s office said.

Wilson said the 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.”

The Attorney General’s Office released the following additional information.

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.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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