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A judge blocks the mandate of federal officials

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A judge blocks the mandate of federal officials

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US President Joe Biden speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, US, Wednesday, November 3, 2021.

Al-Draco | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On Friday, a US judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing an executive order requiring federal employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The decision marks the latest setback for President Joe Biden, whose efforts to boost U.S. vaccination rates through sweeping workplace safety rules have repeatedly been blocked in court.

Judge Jeffrey Brown, appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote in a 20-page order that Biden’s executive order “equates to a presidential mandate that all federal employees consent to the COVID-19 vaccination or lose their jobs”.

“Because the President’s authority is not so broad, the court orders the execution of the second order,” Brown’s decision read in U.S. District Court in Galveston, Texas.

The judge cited last week’s Supreme Court opinion blocking a federal rule that would have required workers at large companies to get vaccinated or undergo weekly Covid tests. At the same time, the High Court voted to allow a separate vaccine mandate for medical facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments.

Brown’s decision said it was a “bridge too far” to let the president, “with the stroke of a pen and without congressional input, demand that millions of federal employees undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their jobs”.

Asked about Brown’s decision later Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted that a “remarkable” 98% of federal workers are already vaccinated.

“We are confident in our legal authority here,” Psaki added.

This is breaking news. Please check for updates.

A judge blocks the mandate of federal officials

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