A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

13-state lawsuit challenging vaccine mandate for healthcare workers leads to nationwide injunction

A federal district court on Tuesday granted the request of Attorney General Cameron and 13 other states to stop the Biden Administration’s mandatory vaccination requirement for healthcare workers.

The court issued a nationwide injunction against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate, which required vaccinations for workers in healthcare settings that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Daniel Cameron

“The court ruled today that the Biden Administration and CMS do not have the authority to issue a mandatory vaccination requirement for healthcare workers,” said Attorney General Cameron. “We are grateful to the court for the relief this decision brings to burdened healthcare facilities and compassionate healthcare workers, in Kentucky and across our nation, who feared losing their jobs under this mandate.”

The court found that CMS does not have the authority to issue the mandate, writing “[t]here is no question that mandating a vaccine to 10.3 million healthcare workers is something that should be done by Congress, not a government agency. It is not clear that even an Act of Congress mandating a vaccine would be constitutional. Certainly, CMS does not have this authority by a general authorization statute.”

Absent this relief from the court, the CMS mandate would have required over 10.3 million health care workers in the United States to be fully vaccinated by January 4 and to have received at least the first dose of a vaccine no later than Monday, December 6. Approximately 2.4 million healthcare workers are currently unvaccinated. However, that mandate is now paused pending further proceedings.

The lawsuit challenging the CMS mandate included Kentucky, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.

View a copy of the court filings here and here.

Attorney General’s Office

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