Friday’s federal court ruling in Texas blocked President Biden from mandating federal employees to get vaccines. The judge argued that the president didn’t have the power or authority to enforce the mandate “with the stroke of a pen” and without Congress’ input.
In recent months, Biden has promoted several iterations of vaccine mandates. One for large companies was blocked by the Supreme Court. Another for healthcare workers was approved by it.
Friday’s ruling by Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown of U.S. District Court for Southern District of Texas was against the administration based on a separate mandate that generally applies to federal employees.
Brown stated that vaccines are the best way to prevent serious illnesses from COVID-19. However, there is no reason for us to believe that we cannot serve the public interest by taking less restrictive measures than the mandate. Brown also wrote, “While vaccines are undoubtedly a better option, there is no reason why the mandate should be interpreted as limiting the scope of the mandate to mask, social distancing or remote work.” Overbroad policies such as the federal-worker mandate will not stop the spread of COVID-19.
Brown Friday’s ruling is not final. The ruling from Brown Friday does not stop the mandate from being enforced during litigation. The Biden administration filed a notice immediately Friday indicating that it will appeal the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A Fifth Circuit ruling could then be appealed to Supreme Court.
Feds For Medical Freedom, a group that advocates for medical freedom, is behind the case. They also challenge a mandate mandating federal contractors to get vaccines. The mandate is already under a nationwide injunction so the judge didn’t rule on it