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DOJ Appeals Court Ruling on Federal Contractor Employee Vaccine Mandate

On January 12, 2022, the Justice Department announced that it will appeal a Louisiana federal court’s ruling that blocked President Biden’s order for government-contractor workers to get the Covid-19 vaccine.   The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will be the third federal appeals court to consider a challenge to the measure. A coalition of three states (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Indiana) sought to block the mandate for companies that do business with the federal government. U.S. District Court Judge Dee Drell of the Western District of Louisiana granted a preliminary injunction in December.  The federal contractor mandate, which will not be enforced while litigation proceeds, would apply to roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce.  Appeals are ongoing in the Eleventh and Sixth circuits over a nationwide injunction against the measure from a Georgia federal court and a narrower one from a Kentucky federal judge for a coalition that includes Ohio and Tennessee. A Missouri federal court also blocked the executive order, but that ruling has yet to be appealed.  The case is Louisiana v. Biden, W.D. La., No. 21-cv-03867, notice of appeal 1/11/22.