Judge strikes down vaccination mandate for federal workers

A federal judge in Texas has blocked enforcement of the Biden administration's vaccination requirement for federal employees, The Hill reported. 

Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, made the decision Jan. 21. 

According to CNN, Mr. Brown said the mandate exceeded presidential authority and cited a Jan. 13 Supreme Court decision that blocked enforcement of the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccinate-or-test rule for workers at larger businesses.

"The president certainly possesses 'broad statutory authority to regulate executive branch employment policies,'" Mr. Brown wrote, according to the news network. "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."

The Biden administration said it would immediately appeal the ruling and is confident in its legal authority, CNN reported.

President Joe Biden revealed Sept. 9 a mandate requiring that federal executive branch workers, as well as employees of contractors that do business with the federal government, be vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited medical and religious exemptions.    

As of Dec. 8, the federal government reported that 92.5 percent of employees had received at least one shot.  

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