Earlier today, Judge Stan Baker issued what we hope will be the death blow to President Biden's vaccine mandate.
The order is HERE.
Judge Baker started by finding that a trade organization "Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc." ("ABC"), had standing to intervene in the suit as a bunch of folks who would be impacted by the mandate. After recognizing ABC's interest, Judge Baker performed the usual analysis to determine if a preliminary injunction should be issued to immediately halt the vaccine mandate process as requested by a bunch of states and other organizations, as well as ABC. The four-factor test is from Schiavo ex rel. Schindler v. Schiavo, 403 F.3d 1223, 1225–26 (11th Cir. 2005), and requires a plaintiff to show:
- a substantial likelihood of ultimate success on the merits;
- an injunction or protective order is necessary to prevent irreparable injury;
- the threatened injury outweighs the harm the injunction would inflict on the non-movant; and
- the injunction or protective order would not be adverse to the public interest.
Judge Baker found that the plaintiffs did what they needed to do, meeting the requirements by showing:
- President Biden did not have sufficient authority to go as far as a federal mandate by relying on the Procurement Act (likelihood of success);
- the individuals impacted were suffering loss of time and compliance costs that were lost forever (constituting irreparable harm);
- the companies can still encourage the vaccine and enjoining the mandate is simply to maintain the status quo which everyone has been doing for a while now (balancing of harms); and
- the public interest is served by refraining from creating "public upheaval" due to the mandate's impact.
Judge Baker has enjoined the mandate nationwide, so for the time being, companies who do do not want to mandate the vax can work freely without the feds breathing down their corporate neck.
Note that Judge Baker had no problem seeing irreparable harm where some federal judges struggle to do so. Judges matter.
Note also that if you have an aggressive company that wants to implement the vaccine mandate, this ruling does not assist you a lot. Get your religious exemption request in!
This development brought to you by the presidency of Donald Trump, who nominated Judge Baker in 2017. Well done.