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Appeals court says U.S. cannot mandate federal contractor COVID-19 vaccines

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FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled “VACCINE Coronavirus COVID-19” and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed U.S. flag in this illustration taken December 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Monday said the White House could not require federal contractors to ensure that their workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of government contracts.

A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to uphold a lower court decision that blocked President Joe Biden’s September 2021 contractor vaccine executive order after Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi brought suit to seek invalidation of the mandate. The court said Biden wanted it “to ratify an exercise of proprietary authority that would permit him to unilaterally impose a healthcare decision on

one-fifth of all employees in the United States. We decline to do so.”

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