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Judge temporarily blocks vaccine mandate for federal workers

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Zelda Caldwell - published on 01/21/22

The decision addressed "whether the President can, ... without the input of Congress, require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment," wrote Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown.
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A Texas federal judge issued an injunction on Friday barring the Biden Administration from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers.

In his decision, Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown cited the recent Supreme Court ruling which struck down a vaccine mandate that affected businesses with at least 100 employees.

“The President certainly possesses ‘broad statutory authority to regulate executive branch employment policies,'” Brown wrote.

“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.”

Brown, appointed by President Trump to the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Texas, noted that the decision wasn’t about whether people should be vaccinated or not.

“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,” Brown wrote.

“It is not even about the federal government’s power, exercised properly, to mandate vaccination of its employees,” he added. “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.”

The decision only temporarily blocked the enforcement of the vaccine mandate while litigation continues.

The Justice Department immediately filed an appeal to the Fifth Circuit court.

Tags:
Coronavirus
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