A federal judge in Texas blocked President Joe Biden’s executive order that would require all federal employees and contractors to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
“The President’s authority is not that broad,” District Court Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown wrote in a 20-page opinion, noting that his ruling was “not about whether folks should get vaccinated against COVID-19″ and was not about the federal government’s power, exercised properly, to mandate vaccination of its employees.”
Brown explained, “it is instead about whether the President can, with the stroke of a pen and without the input of Congress, require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment.”
Biden’s executive order which was issued on Sept. 9, was “a bridge too far” under current law, Brown added.
The group Feds for Medical Freedom, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, plans to march in Washington, D.C., in protest of Biden’s executive order on Jan. 23.
The Department of Justice intends to appeal the ruling. White House press secretary Jen Psaki added that 98% of federal employees have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination, a number that she described as “remarkable.”
The Supreme Court rejected an Occupational Health and Safety Administration rule on Jan. 13 that would require all private businesses with more than 100 employees to require vaccinations or weekly COVID-19 testing as a condition of employment. It allowed a vaccine mandate for health care workers at facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid funds to go forward.