On Thursday, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected arguments that Biden is 'the nation's chief executive' - and has the same authority as the CEO of a private corporate in mandating that employees get vaccinated, NBC News reports.
Opponents of Biden's forced vaccination policy said it was an encroachment in the lives of federal workers which neither the Constitution nor federal statutes authorize.
The ruling was made by the full appeals court of 16 judges, and reversed an earlier ruling by a three-judge 5th Circuit panel that upheld Biden's vaccine requirement. The opinion in Thursday's ruling for a 10-member majority was written by Judge Andrew Oldham, a Trump nominee.
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." -NBC News
Biden signed an executive order in September 2021 which required all executive branch agency employees to take the vaccine, with exceptions made for religious or medical reasons. It took effect the following November, after which U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown, who was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas by Trump issued a nationwide injunction two months later, before it moved on to the 5th Circuit.