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Missouri Court Latest to Block Biden Contractor Vaccine Mandate

Dec. 21, 2021, 12:40 AM

A federal court in Missouri blocked the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate for government contractors in 10 states, becoming the latest to grant an injunction as part of a series of challenges to the president’s power to set workplace requirements via executive order.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce of the Eastern District of Missouri sustained a preliminary injunction against the order, which was challenged by a state coalition led by Missouri.

The ruling will apply to contractors in Arkansas, Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

It follows a Georgia federal court’s nationwide injunction against the order, as well as decisions from federal judges in Kentucky and Louisiana limiting enforcement by state or type of employer. The U.S. government has appealed these rulings while similar federal litigation remains pending in Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Noce said the states in the Missouri lawsuit are likely to succeed in their claims that the president exceeded his procurement authority over federal contracting, but that they wouldn’t succeed in their constitutional claims regarding separation of powers.

The case is Missouri v. Biden, E.D. Mo., No. 4:21-cv-01300, 12/20/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erin Mulvaney in Washington at emulvaney@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com; Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com