Another day, another vaccine mandate reversed.
Superior Court Judge Maurice A. Ross just ruled against Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser for the ‘unlawful’ vaccine mandate implemented last year.
Bowser’s order from August 2021 forced all DC government employees to provide proof of vaccination.
A few months later, Bowser added an additional order that gave the D.C. city administrator the power to remove the option to test-out.
Judge Ross ruled that mayor Bowser “lacked the legal authority” to impose the mandate.
The ruling follows a lawsuit that was filed by the D.C. Police Union in February.
A D.C. Superior Court judge on Thursday said the vaccination mandate Mayor Bowser imposed on city government workers earlier this year was unlawful in response to opposition from the D.C. police union. https://t.co/sNQIhOOA9i
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 26, 2022
The Washington Post reports on this breaking news:
A D.C. Superior Court judge on Thursday said the vaccination mandate Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) imposed on city government workers earlier this year was unlawful in response to opposition from the D.C. police union.
The order from Judge Maurice A. Ross comes in response to a lawsuit filed in February by the D.C. Police Union and other police groups that opposed the mandate, which was first imposed by Bowser last year. The August 2021 mayor’s order instructed D.C. government employees to submit proof that they had received the coronavirus vaccination, although workers could also apply for religious or medical exemptions or opt for weekly testing instead.
In November 2021, however, Bowser issued another mayor’s order that empowered the D.C. city administrator to remove the test-out option. In January, city officials said D.C. government employees who did not apply for a religious or medical exemption were required to get vaccinated by Feb. 15, including a booster shot, with enforcement set to begin the following month. The city implemented a tiered discipline system for those without exemptions, which could result in suspension or being fired.
**BREAKING** A DC Superior Court judge has ruled that the DC clown mayor’s vaccine mandate was unlawful.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 26, 2022
“In court documents, [Judge] Ross says [DC Mayor] Bowser lacked authority to impose the vaccine mandate through emergency executive orders.” https://t.co/Ih19ctwoCD
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) August 26, 2022
A D.C. judge ruled Thursday that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser is unlawful, siding with a police union that challenged the rules as unfair and damaging to recruitment. https://t.co/dSzmHyJ2nD
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) August 26, 2022
The Washington Times has more from Judge Ross:
Superior Court Judge Maurice A. Ross said Ms. Bowser, a Democrat, lacked statutory authority to impose the requirement.
“It is undisputed that the mayor has a strong interest in combating the spread of COVID-19,” the order reads. “However, our system does not permit the mayor to act unlawfully even in the pursuit of desirable ends.”
The order says the mayor is permanently enjoined from imposing the mandate and that punished union members must be reimbursed for “any loss of benefits, pay, or rights and all related disciplinary proceedings to be expunged from their records.”
Bowser and her office have had no choice but to comply with the judge’s ruling.
She provided a statement saying as much, but also added that she believes the judge “misunderstood” the authorities relied upon for the original mandate..:
Statement from Bowser's office on the ruling, says they will comply with court's order — though they disagree with the judge's conclusion that the mayor lacks the authority to implement an employee vaccine mandate pic.twitter.com/dkhPJjwZuQ
— Michael Brice-Saddler (@TheArtist_MBS) August 26, 2022