Federal Judge Issues Injunction in Texas vs. Biden Admin. Case Over Vaccine Mandate

© AP Photo / Eric GayA visitor wears a protective mask during a visit to the Texas Capitol, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, in Austin, Texas.
A visitor wears a protective mask during a visit to the Texas Capitol, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, in Austin, Texas.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.12.2021
Texas' triumph in court is the latest in a run of setbacks for the Biden administration in its quest to impose vaccine mandates in businesses across the country, as earlier this month two judges ruled against imposing federal mandates for vaccinations of healthcare workers and federal contractors.
Texas has been granted an injunction against the Biden administration's move to require healthcare employees to be vaccinated by a federal district court, the state's Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Friday.
The state was granted a preliminary injunction against a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule requiring healthcare workers in facilities that are federally funded by Medicare and Medicaid to take the vaccine against COVID-19, according to a ruling issued Wednesday by the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division.
"A federal agency has no power to act absent Congressional power conferring it such authority," Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk's ruling read, per Fox News. "The APA requires courts to ‘hold unlawful and set aside agency action’ found to be ‘in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right.’ 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), (C). Therefore, ‘to permit an agency to expand its power in the face of a congressional limitation on its jurisdiction would be to grant the agency power to override Congress.’"
And according to the decision, Biden's HHS justified the vaccine mandate by referring to portions of the Social Security Act that have nothing to do with vaccines.
"Sections 1102 and 1871 of the SSA give the HHS Secretary authority to make rules to ensure the efficient administration of programs ‘of the functions with which each is charged’ and as ‘may be necessary to carry out the administration of the insurance programs’ 42 U.S.C. § 1302; 42 U.S.C. § 1395hh," the ruling stressed. "However, in neither statutory provision did Congress speak directly to the precise question at issue. Defendants rely upon sections that do not mention vaccines, let alone health or safety."
According to the outlet, the court goes on to say that "mandating facility standards is drastically different from mandating who a healthcare provider hires or fires."
In an interview with the outlet after the ruling, Paxton said that the threat of healthcare workers losing their jobs as a result of the coronavirus vaccine prompted him to file the lawsuit in the first place.
"The impetus was protecting those involved in health care related to Medicaid and Medicare funding, so they wouldn’t have to make a choice with a gun to their head deciding between their jobs and their health," he explained.
The state's AG has on multiple occasions emphasized that the decision to be vaccinated should be made by people and their doctors, not by the federal government.
A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest by New York City Fire Department (FDNY) union members, municipal workers and others, against the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandates on Manhattan's Upper East Side, in New York City, New York, U.S., October 28, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.12.2021
Biden Admin. Asks US Supreme Court to Allow Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandate
After the plan was blocked by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Biden's Department of Justice announced it would "vigorously defend" the rules handed out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aimed at imposing vaccine mandates on all enterprises with 100 employees.
The mandate was supposed to take effect on January 4th. Multiple states, including Arizona, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia have already filed legal challenges against it, and have already won in several cases.
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