President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate is illegal under federal law, the Fifth Circuit federal appeals court held Thursday in a major defeat for the Biden administration.
Biden issued Executive Order 14043 on September 9, 2021, requiring 4.2 million federal employees to get a Covid vaccine as a condition for continued employment by the federal government. He claimed he had this authority under the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) as part of determining “workplace conditions” for employees, and that he also had inherent power under Article II of the Constitution to require federal employees to get the jab.
A nonprofit group named Feds for Medical Freedom sued on behalf of its 6,000 members who are federal employees, joined by other groups and individual plaintiffs, all arguing that the president has no such authority, and seeking a preliminary injunction to block the mandate while the case plays out in court.
They are represented by Boyden Gray & Associates, a boutique law firm led by famed lawyer Boyden Gray, who served as White House counsel under President George H.W. Bush and is also a former U.S. ambassador. Several lawyers from the Trump administration who now work at his firm, Jonathan Berry, Michael Buschbacher, and Trent McCotter led the challenge.