On Monday, the Biden Administration asked a federal appeals court to allow the reinstatement of the controversial vaccine mandate for all federal government workers.
According to The Hill, the request to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit was made after the Louisiana-based court overturned a ruling by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown in Texas back in January that blocked the policy from being implemented. On Thursday, the Appeals Court ultimately determined by a 2-to-1 vote that Judge Brown’s ruling be reversed due to a lack of jurisdiction.
The administration’s lawyers demanded that the court speed up its timeline for the panel’s ruling to go into effect, as the current effective date is May 31st.
The federal workers’ mandate, first implemented in September of 2021, was faced with numerous legal challenges. In December, the group Feds for Freedom, which has over 6,000 members, filed the lawsuit that first led to the policy being blocked in the January ruling.
In that same month, the Supreme Court ultimately struck down another Biden vaccine mandate, ordering the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to force all private businesses with 100 or more employees to enforce vaccine mandates or else face fines and penalties. The third national vaccine mandate, targeting healthcare workers in facilities that receive funding from Medicare and Medicaid, was upheld on the same day.
In their prior legal arguments, the administration’s lawyers claimed that the vaccine mandate for federal workers was legal and constitutional, since Biden had the same jurisdiction over the federal government that a CEO would have over a private company. They also pointed to the fact that 93 percent of federal employees had already received at least one dose of the vaccine, and only 4 percent had pursued exemptions from the mandate for either religious or medical reasons.