Workers employed by the city of Gainesville, Florida just scored an important victory after a judge granted an injunction this week against a city-ordered COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its employees, the Daily Caller reports.
“Federal law holds that compelled physical intrusion into the human body is an invasion of bodily integrity that implicates significant, constitutionally protected privacy interests,” the court order read.
The city of Gainesville “did not put on any evidence, at all, at the injunction hearing” that would allow the court to consider whether the vaccine mandate “meets a strict scrutiny test, a rational basis test, or whether it meets any other standard,” the ruling added.
According to WUFT, at least 200 Gainesville city employees were against the mandate, which essentially stated that if employees refused the COVID-19 vaccination, they would risk termination.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis supported the court’s decision in favor of the city’s employees.
“We welcome the court’s decision and congratulate the City of Gainesville employees on this victory,” the governor’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, said in a statement.
Pushaw added in the statement: “They took a courageous stand not only for their rights, but for everyone’s right to make their own private medical decisions without fear of losing their livelihoods.”
What happens next?
Florida was one of 24 Republican-led states that sent a letter, on behalf of the states’ attorneys general, to President Joe Biden expressing their opposition to his recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive,” the group of AGs wrote. “If your Administration does not alter its course, the undersigned state Attorneys General will seek every available legal option to hold you accountable and uphold the rule of law.”
The Republican AGs also predicted that the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate will likely backfire in many cases. “From a policy perspective, this edict is unlikely to win hearts and minds — it will simply drive further skepticism. And at least some Americans will simply leave the job market instead of complying,” it added.
The ruling from the judge in Gainesville this week may be only temporary, but it serves as an important step in the battle against government-led vaccine mandates. The ruling also sets a precedent that other cities and states could hypothetically use in future legal challenges.
The Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates have led to widespread anger among millions of Americans, which will almost certainly lead to countless legal challenges across the country in the coming weeks and months.