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Judge suspends Biden’s mandate to vaccinate federal employees

Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas temporarily stayed the mandate to vaccinate federal employees put in place by President Biden. 

“While vaccines are undoubtedly the best way to avoid serious illness from COVID-19, there is no reason to believe that the public interest cannot be served via less restrictive measures than the mandate,” Brown ruled, according to Fox News, Jan. 21. 

He also pointed to alternatives, such as masking, social distancing, or part-time or full-time remote work,” adding, “Stopping the spread of COVID-19 will not be achieved by overbroad policies like the federal-worker mandate.”

Brown’s ruling will have a temporary application, pending the substantive resolution of the legal process involved. However, the Biden administration immediately responded by expressing its intention to appeal the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The organization, “Feds for Medical Freedom,” filed the lawsuit against Joseph R. Biden. This entity describes itself as a grassroots coalition of thousands of public employees united in their opposition to mandatory vaccination mandates. 

After referring to a first order that will not be blocked, the judge states, “The second, Executive Order 14043, amounts to a presidential mandate that all federal employees consent to vaccination against COVID-19 or lose their jobs.”

He adds, “Because the President’s authority is not that broad, the court will enjoin the second order’s enforcement.” He explains, “Because injunctive relief is an extraordinary tool to be wielded sparingly, the court should be convinced the plaintiffs face irreparable harm before awarding it,” adding, “the court is so convinced.”

Brown further states that to “… require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment” is far beyond the government’s power without congressional intervention. 

He further emphasizes, “no legal remedy adequately protects the liberty interests of employees who must choose between violating a mandate of doubtful validity or consenting to an unwanted medical procedure that cannot be undone.”

On the other hand, this is not the first of the mandates to be thwarted, given that a few days earlier, the Supreme Court stayed the use of the OSHA rule that forced millions of Americans to get the injections mentioned above. 

That rule was aimed at private companies hiring more than 100 employees who must be vaccinated or undergo periodic testing.

President Biden met online with several Republican governors on Dec. 27 and declared, “There is no federal solution. This gets solved at a state level.”

These statements are one of the Biden administration’s vital admissions to date that it will need the help of state and local governments to combat Covid-19.

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