Alaska Department of Law

11/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/29/2021 19:19

Court Sides with Alaska, Other States and Blocks CMS Vaccine Mandate

November 29, 2021

(Anchorage, AK) - A U.S. District Court judge today issued an injunction to stop the federal government's broad and overreaching vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, a victory for Alaska and nine other states that sued to block the requirement.

The states sued the federal government earlier this month, maintaining that the mandate was unconstitutional under the 10th amendment and that it violated other federal laws.

"Millions of Americans are welcoming the federal court's decision to pause an unconstitutional action by the Biden Administration that is really the definition of federal overreach," said Governor Mike Dunleavy. "My administration will continue to fight for the right of all Alaskans to make their own choices about medical care without unnecessary intrusion from the government."

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had ordered many healthcare providers to force their employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine, else risk losing federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. Specifically, the mandate required nearly every employee, volunteer, and third-party contractor working at fifteen categories of healthcare facilities to be vaccinated against COVID and to have received at least a first dose of the vaccine prior to Monday, Dec. 6. The agency estimated 10.3 million Americans would be subject to the requirement.

"The federal government's strong-arm tactics could have severe impacts on our already stretched health care system, especially in rural Alaska," said Attorney General Treg Taylor. "This kind of overreach into the personal, medical freedoms of the people of Alaska couldn't go unchallenged. We will continue working to stop these unconstitutional mandates, whether for our healthcare workers, federal contractors or private employers."

The court's preliminary injunction is applicable in Alaska and the nine other states participating in the lawsuit.

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Department Media Contact:Communications Director Aaron Sadler.