Menu Close

On the heels of a court order in a recent federal court in Missouri that blocked implementation of a federal vaccine mandate that applies to health care facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid in 10 states, a federal court in Louisiana on Tuesday granted an injunction that blocks implementation of the mandate nationwide.

The CMS Mandate requires over 10.3 million healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated with one of the COVID-19 vaccines in two months.The CMS mandate also requires that the medical providers and suppliers “track and securely document” the vaccination status of each staff member, including storing staff members’ medical records showing proof of vaccination.

CMS indicated its mandate was “complementary to the OSHA ETS”, which also requires mandatory vaccinations. CMS admittedly has not previously required any vaccinations.

President-Elect Biden initially did not think vaccines should be mandatory. On September 9, 2021, President Biden changed his mind announcing his intention to impose a national mandate. Both the OSHA Mandate and the CMS Mandate were imposed approximately two months later on November 5, 2021.

Plaintiff States argue in this new case that (1) the Government Defendants issued the CMS Mandate without following statutorily required processes (5 U.S.C. 553), (2) the CMS Mandate is beyond the authority of the Government Defendants, (3) the CMS Mandate is contrary to law, (4) the CMS Mandate is arbitrary and capricious in violation of 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(A), and (5) the CMS Mandate violates the Spending Clause, Tenth Amendment and Anti-Commandeering Doctrine.

The Court went on to address the Plaintiff States’ five arguments in detail, after having noted that in BST Holdings, LLC v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, No. 21-60845 17 F.4th 604 (5th Cir. November 12, 2021), the Fifth Circuit addressed a request for a stay as to the OSHA vaccine mandate addressing almost identical issues.

In imposing the injunction the court noted that “this matter will ultimately be decided by a higher court than this one. However, it is important to preserve the status quo in this case. The liberty interests of the unvaccinated requires nothing less.”

“In addressing the geographic scope of the preliminary injunction, due to the nationwide scope of the CMS Mandate, a nationwide injunction is necessary due to the need for uniformity. Although this Court considered limiting the injunction to the fourteen Plaintiff States, there are unvaccinated healthcare workers in other states who also need protection. Therefore, the scope of this injunction will be nationwide, except for the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, since these ten states are already under a preliminary injunction order dated November 29, 2021, out of the Eastern District of Missouri.”