A California judge has granted a restraining order against a vaccine mandate.
An order mandating California correctional officers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 was set to take effect this week, but was stopped by a California judge on Wednesday.
While the court evaluates a motion for a preliminary injunction, Kern County Judge Bernard Barmann issued a temporary restraining order that bans the state from imposing a vaccine mandate for guards and peace officers represented by a prison guards’ union.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) had petitioned Barmann, who was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in December, to stop the order from being implemented for all prison staff.
However, Barmann only issued an order for CCPOA personnel. Other personnel working in jails with health-care facilities will still be expected to be completely vaccinated by October 14 under a Department of Public Health decision that removed a testing option as an alternative to receiving the vaccination.
The prison guards’ union, which contributed $1.75 million to Newsom’s recent recall effort, has also spoken out against a new vaccine requirement that would affect prison staff.
Judge Jon Tigar of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled that all personnel entering California jails be vaccinated or have a religious or medical exemption in September.
Despite the governor’s recent declaration that Democratic lawmakers should “lean into” programs like vaccine mandates, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Newsom both rejected the move.
All state personnel, including correctional officers, have been compelled to get vaccines or undergo regular COVID-19 testing by Newsom’s administration. However, Tigar’s order eliminates the option of frequent testing.
The Newsom administration and the state correctional department, according to news website CalMatters, challenged that verdict on Wednesday.
In recent weeks, the governor has been chastised for what is believed to be inconsistency on vaccine mandates. He introduced the country’s first vaccine mandate for pupils, but did not compel that teachers and school employees be vaccinated as well. The state’s largest teachers union endorsed Newsom in his fight against the recall and donated to his campaign.
“What’s stopping Newsom from ordering staff employees to be vaccinated by, say, December 1st, given that the FDA has already certified the vaccines for adults?” enquired a Mercury News and East Bay Times editorial.
“Or, for that matter, students 16 and up, since they, too, have the FDA’s seal of approval. This is a condensed version of the information.