JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on thousands of health care workers in 10 states that had brought the first legal challenge against the requirement.
The court order said that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid had no clear authority from Congress to enact the vaccine mandate for providers participating in the two government health care programs for the elderly, disabled and poor.
The preliminary injunction by St. Louis-based U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp applies to a coalition of suing states that includes Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Similar lawsuits also are pending in other states.
The federal rule requires COVID-19 vaccinations for more than 17 million workers nationwide in about 76,000 health care facilities and home health care providers that get funding from the government health programs. Workers are to receive their first dose by Dec. 6 and their second shot by Jan. 4
Even under an exceedingly broad interpretation of federal powers, “Congress did not clearly authorize CMS to enact the this politically and economically vast, federalism-altering, and boundary-pushing mandate,” Schelp wrote.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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BISMARCK – Today, Perrie Schafer, Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party released the following statement in response to the passage of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better spending bill:
“It is outrageous that at a time when North Dakotan families are hurting because of inflated energy and food prices – thanks to the Democrats’ endless spending – that Joe Biden would have the audacity to pass yet another trillion-dollar disaster. The so-called ‘Build Back Better’ plan will make America worse. It not only adds to the deficit, but also funds AOC’s socialist schemes like the Green New Deal and gives taxpayer-funded payouts to illegal immigrants. This vote yet again underscores the importance of taking back the House of Representatives in 2022 and protecting our conservative leadership here in North Dakota. Thank you to Congressman Kelly Armstrong for taking a strong stand against this shameful piece of legislation.”
BISMARCK – Today, Perrie Schafer, Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party (“NDGOP”) issued the following statement in response to the Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger’s announcement that he will be resigning in January 2022:
“The North Dakota Republican Party would like to thank Ryan for the many years of public service he has given to our great state. It takes a great deal of courage to show humility and to seek help. We are praying for Ryan and wishing him well on his journey back to good health.”
BISMARCK – Today, Perrie Schafer, Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party (“NDGOP”) applauded North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenejhem for challenging the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandates in three different lawsuits, including a challenge to the mandates for large businesses, federal contractors, and healthcare workers:
“Since Joe Biden took office nearly a year ago, he has declared war on our individual liberties and civil rights. North Dakotans should know, however, that Attorney General Stenejhem has been challenging this Administration in court all along the way. In the last few weeks alone, Stenejhem has relentlessly defended the people of our great state against the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate overreach with respect to our businesses, federal contractors, and healthcare workers. No one should ever have to choose between a job that puts food on the table for their families and a personal medical decision, and we are grateful to have an Attorney General who understands that well.”
BISMARCK, N.D. (NOV. 10, 2021) – Gov. Doug Burgum today joined Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in announcing that North Dakota has joined nine other states in a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s mandate that employers who receive funding through Medicare or Medicaid programs must require their employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, estimates that its “emergency regulation” will affect roughly 76,000 providers and 17 million health care workers across the country. The agency has given affected workers until Jan. 4 to be fully vaccinated, with exemptions for recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs.
“The federal government is overstepping its authority by trying to impose a vaccine mandate on state team members in certain agencies just because they receive funding from two federal programs. Likewise, North Dakota hospitals and long-term care facilities also should be allowed to make their own vaccine decisions as private employers and shouldn’t be held hostage by CMS funding,” Burgum said. “This isn’t about whether COVID-19 vaccines work – they do – or whether they’re important in health care settings – they are. Rather, this misguided CMS mandate is yet another example of blatant federal overreach by the Biden administration that violates our state’s sovereign right to enact and enforce laws and will only breed additional vaccine resistance and workforce challenges. We fully support the attorney general joining this lawsuit and urge the court to immediately block this intrusive and illegal mandate.”
In the last two weeks, Burgum also has backed North Dakota joining legal challenges to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates on federal contractors and private businesses with 100 or more employees.
North Dakotans who haven’t been vaccinated are encouraged to visit with their trusted medical provider about the vaccine. Vaccine information and locations can be found on the North Dakota Department of Health’s website at www.health.nd.gov/protect.