The Fifth Circuit has found that the nationwide injunction of the CMS vaccine mandate issued by the Western District of Louisiana should be narrowed to apply only to the 14 states involved in the Louisiana lawsuit. This comes on the heels of the Eleventh Circuit refusing to stay the CMS mandate in Florida pending appeal. In light of this news out of the Fifth Circuit, a district court in Texas acted quickly to grant the preliminary injunction pending before it when the nationwide injunction was issued and enjoined the CMS vaccine mandate in Texas.
This means, as of the date of this Legal Alert, the CMS vaccine mandate is only enjoined in 25 states – Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia (involved in the Louisiana lawsuit), Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming (involved in the Missouri lawsuit since the Eighth Circuit has denied the government’s motion to stay the injunction entered by a federal district court in Missouri), and, most recently, Texas. The federal government will now likely file applications in the U.S. Supreme Court to fully stay the Missouri and Louisiana preliminary injunctions.
Since the original nationwide injunction was issued just before the December 6 “first dose” deadline, it is unclear how this ruling will impact the vaccination deadlines contained in the CMS rule. We are continuing to monitor this evolving situation.