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Jonathan H. Adler | 12.1.2021 10:38 PM
Several lawsuits have been filed against the Biden Administration's requirement that workers at Medicare and Medicaid service providers obtain COVID-19 vaccines. (The so-called CMS rule, because it was promulgated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).) Unlike the legal challenges to the OSHA COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate, these challenges are proceeding separately in district courts around the country. [For background on this rule, see my posts here and here.]
These lawsuits have produced some preliminary rulings. A federal district court in Florida denied that state's request for a preliminary injunction against the CMS rule. Florida has appealed this ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
A suit filed by ten states in federal district court in Missouri was received more favorably. On Monday, a federal judge there granted a request for preliminary injunction, barring the CMS rule from going into effect in the ten plaintiff states (Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire). The opinion here is straight-forward, in that it largely tracks and embraces the plaintiffs arguments without much consideration. The federal government is appealing this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, where I expect the court to provide more careful analysis (whether or not it reaches the same result).
On Tuesday, a federal district court in Louisiana looked favorably on another suit against the CMS rule, this one filed by fourteen states (Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio). As in Missouri, the court here granted the request for a preliminary injunction. Unlike in the Missouri case, the court hear ordered nationwide relief, and without much justification.
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