District Court Issues National Injunction Against Biden Administration Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

Yesterday, the Georgia federal district court issued an injunction to stop federal contractors from complying with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement of Biden Administration. A Kentucky district court also indicted the mandate last week in separate litigation. However, this injunction only applied to plaintiff states.

In this decision, the primary reason for court approval is Georgia v. Biden Is that the Executive Order of President Biden requiring federal contractors mandate COVID-19 vaccinations is beyond the President’s authority under the Procurement Act.  Wrote Judge R. Stan Baker:

According to 40 U.S.C., the President explicitly relied upon Federal Property and Administrative Services Act. § 101 et seq. (hereinafter, “Procurement Act”) to his authority to issue EO14042 “in order promote economy and efficient in procurement by contracting to sources that provide adequate COVID-19 safety safeguards to their workforce.” 86 Fed. Reg. 50,985–88. “The Procurement Act” was created to centralize government property management, and bring into public procurement the same flexibility as in private sector transactions. These objectives can be seen in terms such as “efficiency” or “economy”, which are prominently recorded in the statute. Am. Fed’n of Labor and Congress of Indus. Orgs. v. Kahn, 618 F.2d 784, 787–88 (D.C. Cir. 1979). 1979. KahnCourt of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit looked at the historical context and the apparent congressional intent behind the Procurement Act. It stated that Congress had intended for the President to play a direct role in supervising the Government’s management functions by emphasizing the president’s leadership role in setting Government-wide procurement policies on issues common to all agencies. You are invited to sign up. at 788. It was acknowledged by the court that “To determine the President’s power under Section 205 (a) [(40 U.S.C. § 121(a))]In order to make the statements ‘not inconsistent’ with the others, you must add some content. [Procurement Act]These are referred to as “to implement the provisions” of the Act. You are invited to sign up. The emphasis of the Procurement Act on efficiency and economy and on making sure contracts are won on terms that “most benefit the Government and price, and any other considerations,” is evident. KahnCourt ruled that the Procurement Act grants the President broad authority and particular direct control over the larger administrative or management questions that impact the entire Government. This direct authority from the President should be utilized to create a system of flexible management capable of making complex judgments for efficiency and economy. You are invited to sign up. 789

Use the Kahn In the absence of any precedent from the Eleventh Circuit on the extent of the President’s authority to act under the Procurement Act, Judge Baker found it difficult to define the vaccine requirement as a measure regarding the “economy” and “efficiency” federal contracts. This is, in fact, a measure that the White House has made it clear to be primarily a public health measure.

Judge Baker’s arguments are strong on the surface. Given the fact that the broad requirement for vaccination applies to federal contractors, it is not easy to define this procurement measure. It seems that the measure is transparently designed to maximize federal contracts in order to raise COVID vaccination rates. This goal is definitely worthy. This is in fact an effort to use federal spending for regulatory purposes. It would be reasonable to doubt this mandate given the power Congress gave to President Trump through the Procurement Act.

However, this is not an issue of first impression. A reasonable amount of D.C. The Circuit Caselaw is applicable Kahn, Judge Baker asserts that they are “looking to” the Kahn “court for guidance” on how to settle this case. The D.C. argued that while Judge Baker concluded that the mandate for vaccines “goes beyond addressing administrative or management issues to promote efficiency in procurement and contracting and instead works as regulation of public health.” Circuit’s KahnExecutive branch is much more dependent on caselaw.

UAW-Labor Employment and Training Corp.The D.C. Circuit upheld the requirement that federal contractors place notices informing workers about their rights to not join or pay dues. Although such a requirement is good, it does not affect the economy or efficiency of federal procurement in any way. It is more about vaccine requirements than they are. On the contrary, it could be argued that the requirement to ensure workers get vaccinated helps reduce the risk of shortages or the like. Although this ruling does not affect a federal court of another circuit, it’s odd that a court claims it follows the example of another circuit only to fail to follow it.

Baker, even though he claimed to have “tread lightly in issuing njunctive relieve,” he ordered a nationwide order. This was justified as one of the plaintiffs (Associated Builders and Contractors), is a trade association that has members all over the world. He noted that “because of the size of ABC’s membership and the amount of Plaintiffs involved in the contracts, as well as the fact that EO14042 also applies to subcontractors, it would be difficult to limit the Court’s relief and cause confusion.” Although I’m not convinced on this point I believe it is an important argument that I have to make in opposition to the Louisiana ruling that suspended the CMS vaccine requirement for workers in health care.

Both rulings that enjoin contractors from receiving COVID-19 vaccine will be appealed by the Biden Administration.