Free Oregon, Inc. v. Oregon Health Authority
(Oregon Court of Appeals, December 13, 2023) The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the Oregon Health Authority’s since-repealed rules requiring that health care facility and public school staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. The State had sought to have the case dismissed as moot, but the Court found that the issue remained salient for some plaintiffs who were challenging their school employer’s decision to place them on unpaid leave while the rules were in effect. The Court found that the Oregon Health Authority had the power to issue the vaccine mandate rules, the rules did not conflict with a state law prohibiting public health officials from interfering with individual’s medical decisions; and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) did not preempt the mandate. Read the full Opinion here.