As states, courts and Congress bucks Biden vax mandate, DeSantis touts efforts to save jobs in Florida

As States, Courts And Congress Bucks Biden Vax Mandate, Florida Gov. DeSantis Touts Efforts To Save Jobs

On a day when a federal court handed vaccine-mandate opponents another win, Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis took a victory lap.

On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

State officials in Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Utah, and West Virginia had sued the Biden administration to block the mandate. 

Federal Judge Stan Baker granted the states’ request for an injunction after deciding that they likely would succeed “in their claim that the President exceeded the authorization given to him by Congress.”

“The Court acknowledges the tragic toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought throughout the nation and the globe,” Baker wrote. “However, even in time of crisis this Court must preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the bounds of their constitutionally granted authorities.”

The administration’s “‘strong interest in combating the spread of [COVID-19]’ … does not permit the government to ‘act unlawfully even in the pursuit of desirable ends,’” the judge observed.

Last week, a different judge blocked Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

Meanwhile, two center-leaning Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, have announced their opposition to private-sector mandates. 

Against that backdrop on Tuesday, DeSantis appeared in Oldsmar to tout a $500 million-plus “resilience” plan, the state’s first ever, to combat sea-level rise and flooding in coastal areas.

Speaking to reporters, DeSantis said in addition to implementing this new initiative, he was pleased by news from different parts of Florida “where people’s jobs are being saved because of what we did to protect them against mandates.”

“Not only have we been able to save thousands of jobs,” said DeSantis, “we actually have some people being hired back due to what we did.”

Last month, after a brief special legislative session, DeSantis signed a bill that bans private-sector mandates, and fines employers that seek to impose them.

DeSantis noted that many statues grumble about the overreach into Americans’ private lives, but Florida was one of the few actually doing something about it.

“In Florida, we protected people against that,” the governor added. “It’s respecting people’s ability to make their own decisions.”

“We can say had we not done what we done, there’d be people getting pink-slipped, and that’s not happening in the state of Florida.”

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