On Thursday, a US federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision to prevent the Biden administration from mandating the COVID-19 shot on federal workers.
Biden issued an unlawful executive order in September 2021 for about 3.5 million federal employees to show proof of COVID-19 inoculation.
Although a judge issued an injunction to block the mandate in January 2022, a three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the mandate in April.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision Thursday to keep the injunction in place.
JUST IN: In reversal for Biden, US appeals court rules against COVID-19 vaccination requirement for federal employees – AP
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) March 23, 2023
In reversal for Biden, US appeals court rules against COVID-19 vaccination requirement for federal employees. https://t.co/rtvJ9CNaqw
— KTVU (@KTVU) March 24, 2023
Fox Business shared details:
On Thursday, 10 of the 5th Circuit’s 16 judges reversed that decision, ruling that there is no constitutional basis for requiring federal employees to be vaccinated.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday evening.
A similar vaccine mandate for private sector businesses with at least 100 employees was blocked by the Supreme Court in January 2022. Health care workers at institutions that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding are still required to be vaccinated unless they have medical or religious exemptions.
The Hill added:
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a rare en banc rehearing that a preliminary nationwide injunction on the vaccine mandate should remain in place while the case proceeds.
The decision overturns that of a three-judge appeals panel, which ruled last April to uphold the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal employees.
At issue is whether the Texas district court that ordered the preliminary injunction had the jurisdiction, given the existence of the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA), which protects employees from unfair or unwanted practices by federal employers.
However, the full appeals court found that the case, brought by a 6,000-member organization known as Feds for Medical Freedom, falls outside the purview of the CSRA because they are challenging the vaccine mandate on the grounds that the president exceeded his constitutional authority.
“Plaintiffs’ complaint does not challenge any personnel action reviewable under the CSRA. Nor does it challenge any personnel action they could hypothetically incur in the future,” the court said in Thursday’s opinion. “Rather, plaintiffs claim that the President’s vaccine mandate violates the U.S. Constitution and the [Administrative Procedure Act].”
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