NEW ORLEANS – The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a lower court decision Thursday which prevented the Biden administration from enforcing a COVID vaccine mandate for federal employees.
According to the Daily Wire, the federal appeals court issued a rare en banc decision that reversed a prior ruling by three judges from the same court, which had upheld the vaccine mandate. En banc means that all 26 judges on the Fifth Circuit Court chimed in.
As a result of the en banc ruling, a preliminary injunction issued in January 2022 by Judge Jeffrey Brown in the Southern District of Texas was affirmed.
“We hasten to emphasize that this case only involves a preliminary injunction. The preliminary injunction’s purpose is to maintain the status quo until the parties have the chance to adjudicate the merits,” the court of appeals decision said. “When the parties proceed to the merits in the district court, the plaintiffs will have to prove that whatever injunction they request is broad enough to protect against their proven injuries and no broader. And the government will have another chance to show that any permanent injunction should be narrower than the preliminary one.”
Fifth Circuit Court judges said both sides will “have to grapple” with the recent announcement from President Joe Biden that the national emergency issued in response to COVID is set to terminate in May, the news outlet reported. The White House will reportedly disband its COVID response team as the national health crisis subsides.