Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for COVID-19 contractor, grants AG request

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

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A Kentucky federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday effectively blocking the implementation of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal government contractors and subcontractors.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, who serves the Eastern District of Kentucky, issued the notice and order Tuesday afternoon. It came in response to a challenge from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who joined many other state attorneys general in challenging the warrant.

“It’s not about whether the vaccines are working. They are, ”Van Tatenhove wrote. “It’s also not about whether the government, at some level and under certain circumstances, can require citizens to get vaccines. It can.”

He said the question put to him was a narrow one: whether or not Biden had the power to impose vaccines on employees of federal contractors and subcontractors.

“In all likelihood, the answer to this question is no,” Van Tatenhove wrote.

The scope of the injunction applies to Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, according to the ordinance.

The mandate – which, along with that for employers of over 100 and some healthcare workers, has been challenged in several states – is expected to take effect on January 4.

Austin Horn is a political reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. He previously worked for the Frankfort State Journal and National Public Radio. Horn has roots in Woodford and Martin counties.

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