A federal judge has dismissed claims from contractors and trade associations protesting a Denver, CO mandate requiring contractors who work for the city to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Denver currently mandates vaccines for all employees in high-risk settings and working for the city or county of Denver to be vaccinated against COVID 19. This mandate was updated in September to include all contractors and subcontractors. Here is the updated order.
According to the Denver post “Denver’s mandate covers city employees and contractors, as well as some private-sector workers, including people who work in healthcare, at correctional facilities, and at public and private schools.”
At the end of September last year a group of contractor associations (Colorado Contractors Association; Colorado Stone, Sand, & Gravel Association; Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Association; Colorado Motor Carriers Association; Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association; Hispanic Contractors of Colorado; and the Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association) filed a lawsuit against the city of Denver, the Health Administrator and the Denver Mayor. This isn’t the first lawsuit filed because of vaccine mandates. Seven police officers filed a lawsuit in September that was dismissed due to lack of subject matter. (See below related graphic)
The organizations representing contractors filed for a preliminary injunction alleging that the mandate was a constitutional violation, and that proper procedure was not followed. Denver then filed for a motion to dismiss based on “lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” On February 5 the judge dismissed the lawsuit on “the basis that Plaintiffs have failed to establish Article III standing for their constitutional claims and, consequently, the Court lacks supplemental jurisdiction to consider the state law claims. (Doc. # 35 at 3.) In addition, Denver moves to dismiss all claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. (Id.)” according to the ruling.
Will the Mandate Suite Continue?
Well it might or might not be over, which is often the case with lawsuits. The judge stated that “Plaintiffs shall have 30 days to file a second amended complaint curing the pleading deficiencies stated herein.”
Should You Care About Local Mandates?
You may not, but if you’re wondering if a city or state vaccination mandate is going to be overturned, keep up to date on how these lawsuits are panning out. The legal battle rages on. If you need resources to talk with your employees about getting vaccinated, here are a few we found.
According to this article on Colorado Politics vaccine mandates started in 1905. "States generally are empowered to mandate vaccination, stemming back to the Supreme Court’s 1905 decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which upheld a smallpox vaccine mandate," said Jennifer L. Piatt, research scholar for the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University. "Because Jacobson remains good law, so long as medical exemptions are permitted, public-sector COVID-19 vaccine mandates have, for the most part, been upheld."