Fifth Circuit Grants, In Part, Motion to Stay Nationwide Preliminary Injunction on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid COVID-19 Vaccine Rule
On December 15, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted, in part, the federal administration’s motion to stay the nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (“CMS”) from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate nationwide as to non-plaintiff states. Louisiana et al v. Becerra et al., No. 3:12-cv-03970 (W.D. La. December 15, 2021).
Immediately after this ruling was issued, Plaintiffs in the matter pending before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Texas et al v. Becerra et al., No. 2:21-cv-229-Z (N.D. Tex. December 15, 2021) sought a ruling on its Motion for Preliminary Injunction. The Court granted the motion enjoining CMS from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate in Texas.
As a result, because of this Fifth Circuit ruling, the Eastern District of Missouri’s prior ruling, and the Northern District of Texas ruling, CMS cannot presently enforce its vaccine mandate in: Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
As of now, CMS can proceed with enforcing its rule in all remaining 25 states. CMS has not yet stated whether it will proceed with enforcement in those 25 states and/or what new deadlines for compliance may be imposed if they do. Impacted employers should continue to monitor for further developments.