Vaccine Mandate Litigation

Attorney General Chris Carr has filed five separate lawsuits in response to the vaccine and mask mandates imposed by the Biden administration. Additional information regarding the five cases is included below. While litigation is still pending in some cases, we will continue to update this page as new information becomes available. 

Status Update

Federal Contractors: As of Dec. 7, 2021, the vaccine mandate for federal contractors has been temporarily stopped nationwide. 

OSHA: On Jan. 26, 2022, OSHA formally withdrew the emergency vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. 

Healthcare Workers: On Jan. 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers should take effect pending litigation. 

Head Start: As of Jan. 1, 2022, the vaccine and mask mandate for the Head Start program has been temporarily stopped in Georgia, among other states. 

Public Transportation: On April 18, 2022, a federal judge vacated the mask mandate for public transportation.

Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

Initial Filing: On Oct. 29, 2021, Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia (Augusta Division) to challenge the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. This mandate applies to many public and private employers across the state that receive certain federal funding, including the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the University System of Georgia. In filing the lawsuit, the state has asked for a preliminary injunction to temporarily stop the Biden administration from enforcing the mandate.

Preliminary Injunction Granted Nationwide: On Dec. 7, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia (Augusta Division) granted the state's motion to issue a preliminary injunction to temporarily stop the federal government from enforcing the mandate nationwide. 

Preliminary Injunction Remains in Effect Nationwide: On Dec. 17, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied the federal government's motion to stay the enforcement of the nationwide preliminary injunction. Therefore, the preliminary injunction remains in effect nationwide. 

Amicus Brief Filed: On Feb. 15, 2022, 18 states filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in support of Georgia's challenge.

Associated Files:

  • The initial press announcement is available here
  • Access a copy of the original complaint Download this pdf file. here .
  • Access a copy of the court's Dec. 7, 2021, ruling Download this pdf file. here .
  • Access a copy of the amicus brief Download this pdf file. here

Vaccine Mandate for Businesses with 100 or more Workers

Initial Filing: On Nov. 5, 2021, Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr filed a lawsuit in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to challenge the vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more workers. This emergency regulation was issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the United States Department of Labor on Nov. 5, 2021. In filing the lawsuit, the state has asked the court to stay the mandate. 

Stay Reaffirmed Nationwide: On Nov. 12, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reaffirmed its decision to halt the mandate as part of a nationwide stay, and OSHA temporarily suspended its enforcement of the mandate. A final decision will come from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, where lawsuits from all states challenging the OSHA mandate have been consolidated into one case. 

Stay Lifted Nationwide: On Dec. 17, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the nationwide stay. 

SCOTUS Filing: On Dec. 18, 2021, Georgia filed an application with the United States Supreme Court to request an immediate stay of the mandate. 

SCOTUS Hearing: On Dec. 22, 2021, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in our case against the mandate. An expedited hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 7, 2022. 

SCOTUS Opinion: On Jan. 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court blocked the enforcement of the mandate. 

Comment Letter: On Jan. 19, 2022, Attorney General Chris Carr joined a coalition of attorneys general in sending a letter to OSHA demanding the agency permanently withdraw its rule given the recent decision from the United States Supreme Court.

OSHA Withdraw: On Jan. 26, 2022, OSHA formally withdrew its emergency vaccine mandate. 

Associated Files:

  • The initial press announcement is available here
  • Access a copy of the complaint Download this pdf file. here .
  • Access a copy of the court's Dec. 17, 2021, ruling Download this pdf file. here .
  • Access a copy of the court's Jan. 13, 2022, ruling Download this pdf file. here
  • Access a copy of the state's Jan. 19, 2022, comment letter Download this pdf file. here
  • Access a copy of OSHA's Jan. 25, 2022, withdraw letter here

Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

Initial Filing: On Nov. 15, 2021, Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Monroe Division) to challenge the vaccine mandate for all eligible staff at healthcare facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This emergency regulation was issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 5, 2021. In filing the lawsuit, the state has asked for a preliminary injunction to temporarily stop CMS and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing the mandate. 

Preliminary Injunction Granted Nationwide: On Nov. 30, 2021, the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Monroe Division) granted the state's motion to issue a preliminary injunction to temporarily stop CMS and HHS from enforcing the mandate nationwide. 

Preliminary Injunction Remains in Effect in Georgia: On Dec. 15, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted the federal government's motion to stay the enforcement of the nationwide preliminary injunction. However, the court also denied the federal government's motion to stay the enforcement of the preliminary injunction as it applies to the plaintiff states, including Georgia. Therefore, the preliminary injunction remains in effect in Georgia, among other states. 

SCOTUS Hearing: On Dec. 22, 2021, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in our case against the mandate. An expedited hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 7, 2022. 

SCOTUS Hearing: On Jan. 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court held that the mandate should take effect pending litigation. 

Motion to Stay Further Proceedings Denied: On Jan. 18, 2022, the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Monroe Division) denied the federal government's motion to stay further proceedings. 

Amended Complaint Filed: On Feb. 4, 2022, the State of Georgia filed an amended complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Monroe Division) to challenge the mandate. 

Associated Files:

  • The initial press announcement is available here
  • Access a copy of the complaint Download this pdf file. here .
  • Access a copy of the court's Nov. 30, 2021, ruling Download this pdf file. here .
  • Access a copy of the court's Dec. 15, 2021, ruling Download this pdf file. here .
  • Access a copy of the court's Jan. 13, 2022, ruling Download this pdf file. here .
  • Access a copy of the court's Jan. 18, 2022, ruling Download this pdf file. here
  • Access a copy of the amended complaint Download this pdf file. here

Head Start Vaccine and Masking Mandate

Initial Filing: On Dec. 21, 2021, Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Monroe Division) to challenge the Head Start vaccine and mask mandate. This mandate was issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Nov. 30, 2021. The mandate applies to all programs funded by Head Start, including some programs administered by Georgia's Department of Early Care and Learning. Specifically, this mandate requires all Head Start staff and certain contractors and volunteers be fully vaccinated and that masks be worn by all Head Start children two years of age and older. In filing the lawsuit, the state has asked for a preliminary injunction to temporarily stop HHS and the Administration for Children and Families from enforcing the mandate. 

Preliminary Injunction Granted: On Jan. 1, 2022, the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Monroe Division) granted the state's motion to issue a preliminary injunction to temporarily stop HHS and the Administration for Children and Families from enforcing the mandate in Georgia and 23 other states. 

Letter: On March 10, 2022, Attorney General Chris Carr joined a coalition of attorneys general in sending a letter to the Biden administration demanding it immediately rescind its rule.

Associated Files:

  • The initial press announcement is available here.
  • Access a copy of the complaint Download this pdf file. here
  • Access a copy of the court's Jan. 1, 2022, ruling Download this pdf file. here
  • Access a copy of the state's March 10, 2022, letter Download this pdf file. here

Public Transportation Mask Mandate

Initial Filing: On March 29, 2022, Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Tampa Division) to challenge the mask mandate for public transportation and transportation hubs. As enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this mandate applies to airplanes, trains, buses, ships and other modes of transportation. Specifically, the rule requires masks be worn by all personnel and passengers two years of age and older. In filing the lawsuit, the state has asked the court to permanently stop the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from enforcing the mandate.

Order Vacated: On April 18, 2022, a federal judge vacated the mask mandate for public transportation.

Associated Files:

  • The initial press announcement is available here
  • Access a copy of the complaint Download this pdf file. here