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Arguments will be heard next month in Florida's fight against vaccine mandates for federal contractors


A federal judge will hear arguments Dec. 7 in Florida’s request for a preliminary injunction to block Biden administration efforts to require employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday this week scheduled the hearing, which will be held in Tampa.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office filed a 26-page motion for a preliminary injunction as part of a lawsuit in which the state contends President Joe Biden overstepped his authority with the requirements.

Moody’s office also argues that Florida would be injured by the requirements because state agencies have contracts with the federal government. As an example, it cited a $12 million contract that the University of Florida received last year from NASA.

The vaccination requirements are scheduled to take effect Jan. 4. Biden issued an executive order in September that started a process leading to the requirements.

The lawsuit is part of a series of moves by Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state Republican leaders to fight vaccination and mask mandates amid the pandemic.

The state is part of a separate case at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging a Biden administration rule that will require vaccination of workers at large employers.