President Joe Biden does not appear to have the authority to require vaccines for employees of federal contractors and subcontractors, a federal court judge in Lexington, Ky., ruled Dec. 1, halting implementation of the mandate in three states that filed suit against it—Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee—until the case merits are decided.
The states had claimed that Biden’s executive order, announced in September, was unconstitutional. The order set an Oct. 15 effective date; mandated vaccine requirements be included in new contracts as of Nov. 14; and required employee vaccinations by Dec. 8. The deadline for full vaccination has since been moved to Jan. 18. The president also sought a mandate amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which governs federal procurement.