A judge in Texas has blocked President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating vaccines for federal workers.
Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District issued a preliminary injunction on Friday in the case Feds for Medical Freedom v. Biden.
Judge Brown wrote in his ruling that the order would pose a substantial threat to irreparable harm over the “liberty interests of employees,” according to a report from the Washington Examiner.
“No legal remedy adequately protects the liberty interests of employees who must choose between violating a mandate of doubtful validity or consenting to an unwanted medical procedure that cannot be undone,” Brown wrote in his ruling. “This case is not about whether folks should get vaccinated against COVID-19 — the court believes they should.”
“While vaccines are undoubtedly the best way to avoid serious illness from COVID-19, there is no reason to believe that the public interest cannot be served via less restrictive measures than the mandate, such as masking, social distancing, or part- or full-time remote work. The plaintiffs note, interestingly, that even full-time remote federal workers are not exempt from the mandate. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 will not be achieved by overbroad policies like the federal-worker mandate,” the ruling adds.
Judge Brown also cited the Fifth Circuit ruling which said “[t]he public interest is also served by maintaining our constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions.” The court added that the government has no legitimate interest in enforcing “an unlawful” mandate.
“All in all, this court has determined that the balance of the equities tips in the plaintiffs’ favor, and that enjoining the federal-worker mandate is in the public interest,” the judge wrote.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during her press briefing on Friday that approximately 98% of federal workers have already been vaccinated against the virus.