Advertisement

Trump Appointed Judge Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate For Federal Employees

Advertisement

OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The vaccine mandates of President Joe Biden were dealt another crushing blow as he continues to lose in court.

On Friday a Texas judge ruled that the president could not require that federal workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 and prevented the government from punishing those who do not comply, Reuters reported.

Biden had issued an order requiring about 3.5 million government workers to get vaccinated by Nov. 22 barring a religious or medical accommodation — or else face discipline or firing.

Advertisement

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown said the question was whether Biden could “require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment. That, under the current state of the law as just recently expressed by the Supreme Court, is a bridge too far.”

Brown, based in Galveston and appointed by then-President Donald Trump, said the government could protect public health with less invasive measures, such as masking and social distancing.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the ruling at her press briefing on Friday, shortly after the decision was made.

“A federal judge in Texas has ruled that President Biden’s mandate for federal workers to be vaccinated cannot go through.  Do you have a reaction to that?” a reporter said.

“Well, first, let me update you that 98 percent of federal workers are vaccinated. That is a remarkable number.  I would point you to the Department of Justice on any next steps as this news, it sounds like, just broke.  But obviously, we are confident in our legal authority here,” she said.

Advertisement

The actual number, The White House later said, was 93 percent of federal workers were vaccinated and 98 percent were either vaccinated or seeking a religious exemption which puts them in compliance.

“The President certainly possesses ‘broad statutory authority to regulate executive branch employment policies,'” the judge said. “But the Supreme Court has expressly held that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate is not an employment regulation. And that means the President was without statutory authority to issue the federal worker mandate.”

“The court notes at the outset that this case is not about whether folks should get vaccinated against COVID-19 — the court believes they should,” the judge said.

“It is not even about the federal government’s power, exercised properly, to mandate vaccination of its employees,” he said. “It is instead about whether the President can, with the stroke of a pen and without the input of Congress, require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment. That, under the current state of the law as just recently expressed by the Supreme Court, is a bridge too far.”

Advertisement

The lawsuit was filed in December by a group named Feds for Medical Freedom.

“We represent federal employees and contractors who have devoted their professional lives to service. They have been on the front lines of the pandemic, continuing to serve their country no matter the risk,” the group said in its mission statement shared on its website.

Advertisement

“From fighting terrorism, prosecuting criminals and protecting our borders; to protecting our environment, building our economy and supporting our farmers, these federal employees only want to be treated fairly in return for their service,” it said.

“They are asking their government and their employer to give them more consideration than to fire them from their jobs after years of dedicated service because of their health conditions or medically informed decisions,” the group said.

“Just as federal employees work every day to ensure the laws are applied fairly to their fellow citizens, so should the laws be applied fairly to federal workers,” it said.

Advertisement
Back to top button
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
Send this to a friend