A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has rejected the Biden administration’s request to lift a court order to temporarily block the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, Bloomberg Law reported Friday.
The Department of Justice filed a motion for an emergency stay to pause a preliminary injunction issued by a federal district court judge in Kentucky arguing that the order will cause irreparable harm to the government’s ability to work with federal contractors in the three states.
In September, President Biden signed an executive order mandating federal workers to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.
Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky issued the injunction against the vaccine requirement on Nov. 30 and declined a similar request to lift the stay on Dec. 10, prompting the Biden administration to appeal to the Sixth Circuit.
Judge R. Stan Baker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia also ruled to halt the implementation of the vaccination mandate for federal contractors across thecountry, stating that the president likely exceeded his authority under the Procurement Act.
The Biden administration has a pending request at the Atlanta-based Eleventh Circuit to dismantle the nationwide injunction against the mandatory inoculation rule. The White House has set a Jan. 4th deadline for federal contractors to comply with the requirement.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment requires Department of Defense components to submit weekly reports about federal contractors who have refused to sign a contract clause to implement the mandate.