Louisiana federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for healthcare workers nationwide

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

LOUISIANA – Federal Judge Terry A. Doughty issued an injunction late yesterday in the U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana that temporarily pauses President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers nationwide.

The Nov. 4 emergency regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) required vaccines for nearly every full-time employee, volunteer, supplier and contractor working at a wide range of healthcare facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding including hospitals, physician offices, nursing homes, etc.

See related story: CRMC suspends COVID mandate

The separation of powers was stressed by Doughty in his ruling. He wrote, “If the Executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the Legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by the Constitution would be in the same hands.”

He stressed, “During a pandemic such as this one, it is even more important to safeguard the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution to avoid erosion of our liberties.”

Extended states of emergency were also addressed by Doughty who said, “If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave dangers when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.” 

Although the case was brought by only 14 states, Doughty ruled that “due to the nationwide scope of the CMS Mandate, a nationwide injunction is necessary due to the need for uniformity.”

The ruling said that “Although this Court considered limiting the injunction to the fourteen Plaintiff States, there are unvaccinated healthcare workers in other states who also need protection.”

The ruling is in effect nationwide, although it excludes 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.

The full ruling is available below:


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