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In New Biden Setback, US Judge Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Contractors in 3 States

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the U.S. government from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate on government contractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, the second legal setback for the Biden administration's vaccine policy this week.

The ruling prevents the White House from enforcing a regulation that new government contracts must include clauses requiring that contractors' employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus to help end the pandemic.

"Can the president use congressionally delegated authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services to impose vaccines on the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors?" wrote U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove in Frankfort, Kentucky. "In all likelihood, the answer to that question is no."

The three states jointly brought the lawsuit, one of at least 13 across the country filed against the regulation, although it appears to be the first to lead to a ruling.

On Monday, a federal judge in St. Louis temporarily blocked a separate Biden administration rule in 10 states that required healthcare workers to get COVID-19 vaccines, finding the government exceeded its authority.

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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