Judge denies latest attempt to halt Washington state worker vaccine mandate

Oct 18, 2021, 11:05 AM

Vaccine mandate protest...

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

A Thurston County Superior Court judge denied a request on Monday to halt Washington’s state employee vaccine mandate.

What to know now that Oct. 18 deadline for vaccine mandate has arrived

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the mandate were asking for an injunction to pause the mandate while the case played out in court.

It includes over 600 state employees as plaintiffs, including state troopers, ferry employees, firefighters, and more. They claim that Gov. Inslee’s vaccine mandate violates Washington’s state constitution, while also flouting religious freedoms for those who did not receive accommodations for exemptions.

The judge overseeing the case stated Monday that while many of the firsthand accounts from state employees attached to the lawsuit “are quite concerning,” they are also “not fully developed.”

“The record in this case shows that multiple individuals will have significant changes in their life potentially by these proclamations,” she described in an oral ruling. “The question though is whether there will be irreparable harm — it appears to the court that the harm is financial only.”

Based on that, she ruled that “plaintiffs have not met their burden to show that (the vaccine mandate) is unjust in all applications.”

Not much point in suing over Inslee’s vaccine order, says former state AG

In terms of whether Gov. Inslee exceeded his executive authority, she intimated that it “will likely be found to be a valid exercise of emergency powers,” and that plaintiffs will “not likely prevail on this facial challenge.”

This comes after a federal judge denied a request for an injunction in a similar lawsuit challenging the mandate last week, filed on behalf of 105 state and city employees.

The mandate for employees working for Washington state, King County, and Seattle took effect on Monday, Oct. 18.

MyNorthwest News

North Seattle shooting...

Luke Duecy

‘Unsettling’: North Seattle shooting wounds 1; neighbors are fed up

Police are investigating an overnight shooting in North Seattle. According to police, one man was shot near N. 90th Street and Nesbit Ave N.

39 minutes ago

Seattle Traffic...

Bill Kaczaraba

City of Seattle oversight leads to tens of thousands getting $10 checks

A curious turn of events unfolded in Seattle as over 44,000 car owners and businesses began receiving unexpected $10 checks.

55 minutes ago

Image: The sun sets over the University District in Seattle. (File photo: Lindsey Wasson, AP)...

Ted Buehner

Friday sets new record for consecutive 80-degree days in Western Washington

A record-breaking streak of 80 degrees or better in Seattle and much of the Western Washington interior is expected to reach 16 days Friday.

5 hours ago

Image: A Tacoma Police Department vehicle is seen on a street....

Steve Coogan

Human finger found in Tacoma driveway IDed, returned to owner

The case of a mysterious human finger found in a Tacoma driveway earlier this month has been solved and the digit was returned to its owner.

6 hours ago

Biden Las Vegas...


Biden’s campaign says he’s staying in the race, COVID prognosis ‘improving’

President Joe Biden's campaign is once again insisting that he is not stepping aside as he faces the reality many Democrats want him out.

6 hours ago

west seattle bridge...

Frank Sumrall

Man arrested after collision on West Seattle Bridge, lanes shut down for hours

All West Seattle Bridge lanes heading east were shut down for more than three hours after a crash occurred early Friday morning.

8 hours ago

Judge denies latest attempt to halt Washington state worker vaccine mandate