Image 01 Image 03

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Biden’s COVID Vaccine Mandate for Federal Workers

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Biden’s COVID Vaccine Mandate for Federal Workers

“In reality, however, the President actually controls surprisingly little of the Executive Branch.”

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled in an en banc hearing (special procedure where all judges of the court hear a case) that President Joe Biden cannot force the COVID vaccine on federal employees:

The ruling from the full appeals court, 16 full-time judges at the time the case was argued, reversed an earlier ruling by a three-judge 5th Circuit panel that had upheld the vaccination requirement. Judge Andrew Oldham, nominated to the court by then-President Donald Trump, wrote the opinion for a 10-member majority.

The ruling maintains the status quo for federal employee vaccines. It upholds a preliminary injunction blocking the mandate issued by a federal judge in January 2022. At that point, the administration said nearly 98% of covered employees had been vaccinated.

And, Oldham noted, with the preliminary injunction arguments done, the case will return to that court for further arguments, when “both sides will have to grapple with the White House’s announcement that the COVID emergency will finally end on May 11, 2023.”

The court said Biden is not like a CEO of a private business:

In reality, however, the President actually controls surprisingly little of the Executive Branch. Only a tiny percentage of Executive Branch employees are subject to Presidential removal. The overwhelming majority of federal employees, by contrast, are protected against Presidential removal by civil service laws.

Biden issued the mandate via executive order in September 2021. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended the mandate for the military in January 2023.

The District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction on the mandate in January 2022.

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit refused to block the mandate.

Another panel of the 5th Circuit upheld Biden’s mandate. Judge Rhea Barksdale said Biden’s argument do not “fall under the Civil Service Reform Act.”

But 10 of the 16 active judges disagreed. Judge Stephen Higginson wrote the dissent for the minority:

“For the wrong reasons, our court correctly concludes that we do have jurisdiction,” Higginson wrote. “But contrary to a dozen federal courts — and having left a government motion to stay the district court’s injunction pending for more than a year — our court still refuses to say why the President does not have the power to regulate workplace safety for his employees.”

He wrote:

The President is not an unelected administrator. He is instead the head of a co-equal branch of government and the most singularly accountable elected official in the country. This federal workplace safety order displaces no state police powers and coerces no private sector employers. Instead, consistent with his Article II duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” the President performed his role as CEO of the federal workforce, taking executive action in order to keep open essential government buildings; to maintain the provision of vital government services, such as the Transportation Security Administration; and to prevent unvaccinated federal employees from infecting co-workers or members of the public who, whether because of age or infirmity, might be highly vulnerable to hospitalization and death.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Finally? Wow.

    henrybowman in reply to GWB. | March 24, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    “At that point, the administration said nearly 98% of covered employees had been vaccinated.”
    So then, just like the EPA air scrubbers — the government “lost,” but only after getting everything that they wanted anyway.
    Our court system is useless.

I don’t care who it is, nobody has the right to tell me I have to take an experimental medical treatment. Especially one that has been shown not to work.

If Biden is working on reducing the federal government workforce, there are better ways.

Mary — Right after you commented that “the court said Biden is not like a CEO of a private business “, you quoted part of the court opinion that says the exact opposite — i.e., that Biden is like a CEO of a private business, and that he did have authority to mandate vaccination of federal employees.

Since that contradicts not only your comment but also your headline, I read the opinion itself for context, and see that the text you quoted isn’t from the majority opinion, but from the dissent. You might want to clarify that in your post.

The Fed vaccination mandate was terribly frustrating. The rules seemed to change every week even before early 2001 when the vaccines became available. Everybody go home. Oh, wait. Some people have to stay in the office to answer phones. But only in different rooms. Scheduled bathroom breaks so there are never more than one person in there at a time. Half the office already had Covid and wants to come back to work? Too bad. You have to get vaccinated to come back. Even if it isn’t available there yet. Tape over the floor like Les Nessman. Follow the lines or… we will figure that out later. Eventually turned into get vaccinated *even* if you work outside the office full-time or you will be penalized somehow that we haven’t figured out yet. Or if you really insist on not getting vaccinated, you have to be tested three times a week at your expense. Now multiply that by a hundred plus agencies all of which have their own policies and you could not know if you would walk into an office that felt like a quarantine zone with space suits or just a dozen people who had given up on the theatre and welcomed you like a normal human being.

    paracelsus in reply to georgfelis. | March 24, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    The line that scares me most:
    “Now multiply that by a hundred plus agencies…”
    1. all these salaries are coming out of my tax dollar
    2. everyone knows just how hard government employees work

Any Covid vaccination mandates which targeted workers, including threatening termination, were egregiously wrong headed.

The Covid vaccines successfully decreased serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths in high risk individuals — elderly and those with well-defined underlying health conditions— and targeting those people for voluntary vaccination should have always been the priority. Because the vast majority of the elderly weren’t in the workforce these mandates didn’t apply to them.

Furthermore, once it was obvious that being vaccinated did not prevent infection or transmission, which was clear as of about May of 2021, before the mandates were imposed, there was absolutely no justification for mandatory vaccination of young healthy individuals.

    paracelsus in reply to bev. | March 24, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    I do not believe there is any notable, consistent statistical medical proof of the first sentence of your second paragraph. We have been inundated with many tables and graphs in multiple articles which have since been retracted or proven false. This was/is an experimental treatment.

      I disagree. From my reading so would Dr. Scott Atlas and Dr, Jay Brattacharya.

      The doctor also answered a question about the six Texas Democrats who flew to Washington, D.C. to block a restrictive voting bill in their state. The group tested positive for COVID-19 following the trip, despite all of them being vaccinated.

      “The key thing you’ll notice is that none of them are actually sick,” Bhattacharya said. “They basically have a cold. The vaccine is fantastically good at protecting against severe disease—actually so is prior infection. If you had COVID before and recovered, you’re also protected against new disease.”

      Both Atlas and Bhattacharya were very critical of mandates, however.

    Ironclaw in reply to bev. | March 24, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    You actually have no way to prove that they decreased illness or hospitalization unless you have some link to an alternate universe where they follow a different timeline. What we DO know is that they don’t stop you from getting sick and they don’t stop you from getting other people sick, so they don’t work. Moreover, we know they were NEVER EVEN TESTED to see if they stopped transfer of any illness.

    In short, THEY DON’T F*CKING WORK.

      henrybowman in reply to Ironclaw. | March 24, 2023 at 6:58 pm

      We know that for the sort period they are effective, they reduce by some measurable level the most dangerous effects of COVID, in some un-measurable number of people, almost entirely elderly. We’re mathematically certain that it made the difference between some number of old folks living and dying, or between them having and not having permanently lingering aftereffects. Other than that, there are no measurable effects.

      bev in reply to Ironclaw. | March 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

      Please see see my response to Paracelsus above.

Non-sterilizing vaccines a.k.a. shots/jabs a la seasonal flu. Most seniors, men, women, and children were not at risk from the virus. Beware planned parent/hood.

Will freedom never cease? /

This will wind up as an important case study. The vaxx mandates coerced use of experimental drugs on wide segments of our population. Had the Federal government kept its social compact promise to ensure that such drugs would be effective to prevent disease transmission and have fewer than one severe adverse effect per million, coercion would likely have been allowed.

However, three years into this debacle, we have seen our Federal government push ineffective, defectively dangerous drugs on all levels of our society, including small children and pregnant women. We have also seen that same Federal government entangle itself with social media, presenting a tsunami of propaganda and censorship.

In the absence of such severe misconduct by elected and unelected officials, the courts would have ruled differently.

    Ironclaw in reply to Valerie. | March 24, 2023 at 3:12 pm

    Regardless mandating and experimental treatment would still be a violation of the Nuremberg code of which I do believe the United States is a signatory.

    henrybowman in reply to Valerie. | March 24, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    “Had the Federal government kept its social compact promise to ensure that such drugs would be effective to prevent disease transmission and have fewer than one severe adverse effect per million, coercion would likely have been allowed.”

    Except there was no rational basis to expect the government’s assurances to be at all informed. We know such a vaccine had never been tried. We know the entire project was thrown together in about 27.3 minutes, and tested on a total of five mice for four days. In short, we had no valid reason to believe rationally that the government was doing anything but talking out of its ass faster than a used-car salesman.

    In the heat of emergency, it’s often difficult to avoid being stampeded by mob frenzy and peer pressure, but hindsight shows us not only that this is what happened, but that we had the information at the time that should have allowed us to reject the entire premise.

A year too late. I was laid off from a government job last year because I wouldn’t take the vax. Other than a month vacation without pay, worked out ok. The lesson here is I will NEVER take a job working for the government again. It’s a risky move. I’m sure I’m not the only one. So, government projects are no longer being performed by the best, but by the most compliant. God help us.

So when will I get an apology from management for what they did to me while I was in Japan? Prolly never. This ruling vindicates my choice not to get the clotshot because of my past vaccine injury from the anthrax era, as well as having a GINA protected disease that the shot would have made so bad it would have killed me without the help of all the other crap in the shot. I’m also vindicated today as well since I just got my letter approving my retirement out of civil service. Not more corrupt workplace and people to deal with there.