U.S. court temporarily halts Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide

A man wears an anti-vaccine button as people and teachers protest against New York City mandated vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in front of the United States Court in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., October 12, 2021.

Mike Segar | Reuters

A U.S. district court in Georgia halted the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors on Tuesday, writing that the president likely exceeded his authority.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia said the Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade group that represents the construction industry, are likely correct that President Joe Biden exceeded his authority under the Procurement Act when he issued the mandate.

“In its practical application, it operates as a regulation of public health,” District Judge R. Stan Baker wrote in the order. “It will also have a major impact on the economy at large, as it limits contractors’ and members of the workforce’s ability to perform work on federal contracts. Accordingly, it appears to have vast economic and political significance,” Baker wrote.

The court said the federal contractor mandate is “costly, laborious and likely to result in a reduction in available members of the workforce.”

Biden issued an executive on Sept. 9 requiring contractors to ensure their workers are vaccinated against Covid and follow masking and social distancing policies. The White House originally gave contractors until Dec. 8 to comply but later pushed back the headline until Jan. 4. The requirements cover millions of workers across the U.S. economy.

The court told the Biden administration to halt enforcement of the mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors “in all covered contracts in any state or territory of the United States of America.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

CNBC Health & Science

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