Idaho leaders react to halted federal vaccine mandates

Posted at 9:52 AM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 11:52:39-05

BOISE, Idaho — A trio of lawsuits temporarily halt President Joe Biden's federal vaccine mandates, which affected federal contractors, private employers and healthcare workers.

A federal judge filed an injunction Tuesday, in a Georgia lawsuit over the mandates regarding federal contractors. Tuesday's ruling pauses the mandate that would require employees of companies who do business with the federal government or receive funding from Medicaid or Medicare to get vaccinated.

Related: Judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors

The State of Idaho is part of that lawsuit and now all three of the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates are on hold. The news comes as Idaho continues to trail nationally in COVID-19 vaccinations.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden responded to the judge's decision saying in a statement, saying “we pursued litigation based on the serious legal concerns that surround all three federal mandates. The issue is not yet settled, but recent court decisions in each case validate and reinforce those concerns.”

Gov. Brad Little released the following statement about the vaccine mandates:

“Yet another one of President Biden’s vaccine mandates has been temporarily shut down because the states – including Idaho – took a stand against his unprecedented government overreach into Americans’ lives and businesses. Idaho is party to three lawsuits challenging this assault on Americans’ freedom by their federal government – the federal contractor vaccine mandate, the OSHA vaccine mandate on private business, and the CMS vaccine mandate on healthcare workers. All three mandates are now completely stalled. We will continue to press forward in our fight against the federal government’s bad policies."
Governor Brad Little

The Idaho State Board of Education was also listed in the Georgia lawsuit as the mandate would have affected Idaho public universities.

“Idaho’s universities hold approximately $90 million in federal research contracts, which may have been put at risk by the mandate," said ISBE President Kurt Liebich said. “Our colleges and universities continue to offer voluntary vaccinations on each of their campuses and I urge students and employees to get vaccinated.”

The office of the Idaho Attorney General has posted court documents related to the cases involving Idaho on its website.