May 23, 2022

Appeals court upholds Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal workers

A federal appeals judge ruled on Thursday that the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers could stand, ending a preliminary injunction against the ruling.

The 5th Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 in the decision, reversing an earlier decision that blocked the vaccine mandate for federal workers.

“The plaintiffs could have challenged an agency’s proposed action against them before filing this suit and certainly before getting vaccinated,” Judge Carl Stewart wrote in the ruling.

In the dissent, Judge Hawkins Barksdale said the “case at hand is instead a pre-enforcement challenge to a government-wide policy, imposed by the President, that would affect the 2.1 million federal civilian workers.”

“The President seeks to require an entire class of employees to be vaccinated or be subject to an adverse action. Simply put, CSRA does not cover pre-enforcement employment actions,” Barksdale wrote.

The ruling comes as a blow to federal workers seeking an exemption to the decision that is considered government overreach by many regarding the requirement.

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