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Appeals Court Overturns Nationwide Injunction on Federal Employee Vaccine Mandate

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A federal appeals court in New Orleans on Thursday upheld the White House’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for federal employees in a 2-1 ruling, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The decision of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reversed a ruling by a federal district court judge in Texas against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate in January.

The appeals court ruled that unvaccinated employees seeking to avoid discipline should file their complaints with the Merit Systems Protection Board instead of the courts since the mandate was an employment action that the Civil Service Reform Act covers.

In mid-January, the Supreme Court blocked the U.S. government’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirement for large private businesses but allowed the administration to implement a vaccine mandate for over 10 million health care workers whose facilities take part in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The White House also ordered a vaccination mandate for federal contractors but faced a legal setback in December after a district court judge in Georgia decided to prohibit the administration from implementing the requirement.