Commonwealth of Kentucky et al. v. Biden, et al.
Commonwealth of Kentucky et al. v. Biden, et al. (U.S. District Court, E.D. Ky., Nov. 30, 2021): A federal judge in Kentucky temporarily blocked the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors from going into effect in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, ruling that the requirement exceeded President Biden’s authority. The Executive Order requires all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated by January 4, 2022, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. The court held that the President likely cannot use congressionally delegated authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services in order to require vaccines for the employees of federal contractors. Other courts have found that there must be a close nexus between a president’s actions and promoting the goals of economy and efficiency in federal contracting. The court also explained that the mandate would limit full and open competition by precluding certain companies from contracting with the federal government that may otherwise present the best value to the government on specific procurements, in violation of the Competition in Contracting Act. Notably, the judge declined to block the mandate nationwide. Read the decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – December 14, 2021.