Three judges say Obama administration went too far with stance on requiring employers to provide vaccines

A three-judge panel on Monday dealt a blow to a congressional push to require employers to provide vaccinations for flu and other vaccines, ruling that the Obama administration had exceeded its constitutional authority in…

Three judges say Obama administration went too far with stance on requiring employers to provide vaccines

A three-judge panel on Monday dealt a blow to a congressional push to require employers to provide vaccinations for flu and other vaccines, ruling that the Obama administration had exceeded its constitutional authority in issuing the rule.

The current rule, as well as an earlier rule by the Health and Human Services Department, was intended to make sure that all employees were protected, said the judges, Stephen Silberman and Robert Sack of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. But the Obama administration “inappropriately” interpreted the Commerce Clause, the part of the Constitution that would allow the government to regulate commerce among states, they said.

The previous regulation was on the books until 2017, when Congress passed a bill reversing the decision by the White House.

There had been disagreements among judges over the question of whether the courts had authority to review the rule or not. “This was a breathtakingly” large change in the law, wrote Judge Sack. “The question was not whether the authority rests in the federal Constitution but whether the Department of Health and Human Services has the discretion to implement the policy,” he said.

The lower court’s initial dismissal of the legal action was reaffirmed Monday, as the judges approved a petition for the entire court to review the policy. The court had set a deadline of December 9, but the judges wanted to extend the deadline because they wanted to give the Supreme Court a chance to rule on the issue before the panel rendered its decision.

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