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U.S. judge temporarily blocks Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers

By Doug Cunningham
U.S. judge temporarily blocks Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers
U.S. President Joe Biden listens during an event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. File Photo by Al Drago/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A U.S. district judge in Texas on Friday temporarily blocked President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for federal employees.

The order, by Judge Jeffrey Brown, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, said the nationwide preliminary injunction is in force "until this case is resolved on the merits."

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"The court does not decide today the ultimate issue of whether the federal worker mandate is lawful," Brown said in his ruling.

He said in the order that he believes people should get vaccinated. He said his order is not about the vaccines and it's not about properly exercised federal power to mandate the vaccines for federal workers.

"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 employment," he wrote.

The suit was brought by fgea group called Feds For Medical Freedom, headed by Marcus W. Thornton. AFGE Local 918, which represents Homeland Security workers, is a co-plaintiff.

Brown said the federal government has an undeniable interest in protecting the public against COVID-19. And he said vaccines are "undoubtedly the best way to avoid serious illness from COVID-19."

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Governor Greg Abbott is also suing the Biden administration over COVID-19 vaccine mandates for Texas National Guard members.

On Jan. 13 the Supreme Court blocked a Biden order requiring vaccines or testing for large private corporations.

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