CMS Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers Enjoined Nationwide

Numerous lawsuits have been brought against the Biden Administration’s mandate that Medicare service providers and workers for Medicaid be vaccinated with COVID-19. The so-called CMS Rule, as it was issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These legal challenges, unlike those to OSHA COVID-19’s vaccine-or-test directive, are being handled separately by district courts across the country. [For background on this rule, see my posts here and here.]

Some preliminary rulings have been made by these lawsuits. The request of Florida for a preliminary order against the CMS rule was denied by a federal district court. Florida appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Ten states filed a suit in Missouri federal district court. The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. A federal judge granted Monday’s request for preliminary injunction. This prevents the CMS rule in effect in the 10 plaintiff states of Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas Kansas, Iowa Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota. This opinion is very straightforward, as it basically follows the arguments of plaintiffs and does not take them into consideration. This decision is being appealed by the federal government to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. I expect more thorough analysis from the court (whether it reaches the exact same conclusion).

The Louisiana federal district court granted Tuesday’s approval to a second suit filed against the CMS rule by fourteen states: Louisiana, Montana and Arizona, Georgia, Idaho (Idaho), Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina; Utah, West Virginia, Kentucky; and Ohio. Similar to Missouri, this court granted the request of a preliminary order. The Missouri court case was different. This time, however, the court ordered nationwide relief and did not provide any justification.

This is Judge Terry Doughty’s reasoning for granting a nationwide injunction to stop the CMS rule.

Due to the national scope of CMS Mandate’s preliminary injunction and the geographical scope of this injunction, it is imperative to have a nationwide one. Texas809 F.3d at 287-88. The Court did not limit the protection to the 14 Plaintiff States. However, unvaccinated workers from other states also require it. This injunction is effective nationwide. The exceptions are Alaska, Arkansas and Kansas as well as Nebraska, Wyoming. North Dakota, South Dakota, South Dakota and New Hampshire.

This rationale could be called paltry. It is not necessary to issue injunctions uniformly. National injunctions should not be the norm. For decades, it was common for federal regulations not to apply in all parts of the country. As legal challenges progress through the courts and sometimes long afterward, such is the case with the Army Corps/EPA “migratory birds rule”.

Judge Doughty cites only the Fifth Circuit decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals. Texas v. United States,The Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the DAPA’s immigration reforms. What did the Fifth Circuit decide in this case? We are now:

According to the government, the national scope of injunctions is an abuse of discretion. It requests it be limited to Texas and the other plaintiff states. The Constitution does not require that “an” be required. UnifiedRule of Naturalization. Congress instructed that the United States’ immigration laws should be vigorously enforced. All the time “; and the Supreme Court has described immigration policy as “a comprehensive and Uniform system.DAPA’s partial implementation “would “detract” from the system.[ ] from the ‘integrated scheme of regulation’ created by Congress,”and there is a substantial likelihood that a geographically-limited injunction would be ineffective because DAPA beneficiaries would be free to move among states. (Emphases in Original.

Texas v. U.S.This was an immigration case. It firmly rooted the need for extraordinary, nationwide relief on Congress and the Constitution. These reliefs are in accordance with the national interest in having a uniform immigration policy. On the contrary, The CMS Rule does not have anything to do with immigration. None of these interests are similar and do not require reform. To justify his claim, Judge Doughty offered the following: The “unvaccinated health workers in other countries also require protection”. These are workers that were neither represented nor under the jurisdiction of the Court. This is weak material. Although the Fifth Circuit may conclude that an injunction was justified upon appeal, it is unlikely to be favorable regarding the nationwide relief.

Texas filed fourth lawsuit against the mandate. There is also a state that is asking for a preliminary order, however, it is no longer necessary due to the Louisiana-issued nationwide injunction.