Judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

× Judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

By Dan Merica and Dana Bash

CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a requirement that federal contractors give their employees vaccines to protect against measles, mumps and rubella — the most recent fallout from the vaccination debate that recently saw a Washington lawmaker’s bill to vaccinate children introduced.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled the Bureau of Federal Employees regulations, which required vaccinations and mandates for federal contractors, is unconstitutional because it puts employees at risk of contamination.

During a hearing last week, Jackson, who sits on the US District Court for the District of Columbia, had indicated during a question-and-answer session that she was inclined to rule that the rule was unconstitutional.

The judge will make a final ruling at a later date on whether the rule should be permanently stopped or not.

“Bureau regulations to be struck down because of constitutional infirmities,” David Gomez, an attorney representing state and private plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement after the ruling.

In light of the ruling, the Department of Health and Human Services, as of Monday, will stop enforcing the rule — which was put in place earlier this year.

“The rules for federal contractors were properly implemented based on the direction from HHS Secretary Tom Price to ensure health, safety and security at federal facilities,” the federal agency said in a statement. “The Secretary respects the court’s decision and will immediately suspend enforcement of the regulations.”

But the decision isn’t likely to bring about the kind of change President Donald Trump has long advocated on the topic of vaccines, particularly in the area of childhood immunizations.

Trump has voiced his own doubts, particularly in the past about the safety of vaccines. As a presidential candidate, Trump suggested he wouldn’t support mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren.

In 2010, he also railed against “anti-vaccine people,” questioning the safety of vaccines during a debate with Sen. Joe Biden.

In 2011, the Trump campaign suggested the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is linked to autism — a claim that has been debunked.

“There’s nothing safe about vaccinations,” Trump said during a CNN debate with Republican rival Mitt Romney. “It may be a very good idea at one time. It may be a very good idea to some people. But now we have autism — a lot of autism cases. And it just doesn’t make sense.”

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