A judge in South Georgia has temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccination mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors.
US District Judge Stan Baker issued an injunction against enforcement of statewide vaccination requirements for people who have contracts with the federal government on Tuesday.
The millions of workers gathered under the roof should have received their last dose by January 4th.
The decision comes after Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr joined a coalition of six other Republican-led states to file similar lawsuits to block the vaccine mandate through the courts.
Kemp and other Republicans argued that Biden did not have the constitutional authority to require employees of companies that work with the federal government to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The federal court in South Georgia sided with the Republicans on Tuesday.
“The court recognizes the tragic toll the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked across the country and around the world,” wrote Baker. “However, even in times of crisis, this court must uphold the rule of law and ensure that all governing powers act within their constitutional powers.”
Kemp celebrated the verdict on social media.
“This statewide injunction for federal contractors will provide the relief they need to many Georgians who feared being forced to choose between this vaccine and a livelihood,” he wrote on Twitter.
Last week, a federal judge in Kentucky also blocked the mandate on a lawsuit filed by leadership in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. The decision was quoted by Baker in his judgment.
The Biden administration’s mandate was part of a comprehensive plan to increase vaccination rates across the country. Currently, around 60% of Americans are fully vaccinated – a number that has stalled as concerns about the new Omicron variant grow.
Throughout the pandemic, Democrats and Republicans have argued in court over public health decisions – from shop closings to masking requirements to vaccine requirements.