A U.S. appeals court panel on Thursday (April 7) reinstated President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating that federal civilian employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
By a 2-1 vote, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction issued by a U.S. district judge in Texas in January that had blocked enforcement of the federal employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Biden said in September he would require about 3.5 million government workers to get vaccinated by November 22, barring a religious or medical accommodation, or face discipline or firing.
In mid-January, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination-or-testing mandate for large businesses, a policy conservative justices deemed an improper imposition on the lives and health of many Americans. The court allowed a separate federal vaccine requirement for healthcare facilities.
A third major COVID-19 vaccine requirement aimed at employees of federal contractors like airlines and manufacturers was blocked by a federal judge in December.