Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers
A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.
Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.
The latest: The DOJ formally appealed Judge Jeffrey Brown's ruling shortly after it was released.
By the numbers: White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing Friday that around 98% of federal workers have been vaccinated against the virus.
- "I would point to the Department of Justice on any next steps as this news, it sounds like just broke. But obviously we are confident in our legal authority here," Psaki added.
The big picture: Brown wrote in a 20-page injunction that the executive order, which was issued in September, “amounts to a presidential mandate that all federal employees consent to vaccination against COVID-19 or lose their jobs.”
- “Because the President’s authority is not that broad, the court will enjoin the second order’s enforcement."
- Though Brown cited the Supreme Court's decision for the purpose of the order, the high court also ruled last week that the administration has the authority to issue a vaccine mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds.
Go deeper ... Scoop: White House eyes vaccine mandate for migrants