Liberal California appeals court blocks vaccine mandate for prison workers

President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies have pushed ahead with COVID-19 vaccine mandates despite concerns of labor shortages in trucking, health care, policing, and other critical sectors.

In a surprising setback to their efforts, a liberal appeals court in California has temporarily blocked a mandate in the state’s prison system, Fox News reports. 

Vax mandate frozen

The mandate was set to take effect on Jan. 12 before it was shockingly frozen, until March at least, by a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is known for its history of liberal decisions.

According to Fox, the mandate requires all prison workers and inmates who want to receive visitors to take the injection. While the court-issued pause buys some time for California’s correctional officers, it is hardly a resounding victory in a state where medical freedom is the exception and not the rule.

Liberal Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has been aggressive about forcing the vaccine on most public employees and even schoolchildren in K-12 education, despite the trivial risk COVID-19 is believed to pose to children and the unknown risk of vaccine side effects, as TheBlaze noted.

Surprisingly, the prison mandate did not come from Newsom but a judge, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, in September.

“Once the virus enters a facility, it is very difficult to contain, and the dominant route by which it enters a prison is through infected staff,” Tigar argued, according to Fox.

An exception to the rules

Newsom is making a conspicuous exception to the Democratic Party’s vaccine regime by siding with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which donated $1.75 million to helping Newsom defeat the recall effort to unseat him, as the Los Angeles Times reported.

The group says the mandate will cause staff shortages, but the Prison Law Office, which advocates for the state’s prisoners, says Newsom’s position is political. Don Specter, director of Prison Law Office, said blocking the mandate “puts both the prison staff and the incarcerated population at greater risk.”

There have been just 240 COVID deaths in California’s state jails, the Times noted, out of a prison population of nearly 100,000, and more than half of California’s state inmates have already had COVID-19, and likely have lasting natural immunity.

It appears that Newsom is perfectly able to understand the drawbacks of vaccine mandates when it’s convenient for him, but not when it comes to letting parents who are worried about side effects decide whether to get their children vaccinated or not.

Could it be more obvious that these mandates are political?

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