Judge Blocks Biden Admin From Firing Unvaccinated Employees With Pending Religious Exemptions
A district court judge in Washington, D.C. issued a temporary injunction Thursday that bars both civilian and military plaintiffs from being fired after they filed a lawsuit against the White House’s vaccine mandate.
District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction preventing the plaintiffs from being fired while their religious exemption requests to the COVID-19 vaccine are pending.
“None of the civilian employee plaintiffs will be subject to discipline while his or her request for a religious exception is pending,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote in an order, dated Thursday.
The judge also ruled that “active duty military plaintiffs, whose religious exception requests have been denied, will not be disciplined or separated during the pendency of their appeals,” noting that the federal government has provided “no guarantee of what will happen … if their exemption requests are denied.”
Defendants named in the lawsuit, including all Biden administration executive branch secretaries, have to issue supplemental memos by Friday that say they will not terminate or penalize staff while religious exemptions are being heard, Kollar-Kotelly also ruled.
President Joe Biden and members of his administration were sued by 20 plaintiffs last month over his Sept. 9 executive order requiring vaccines for all federal employees and contractors, reported Fox News.
In their complaint, the plaintiffs wrote that “plaintiffs along with hundreds of thousands of other federal employees and active-duty service members will be terminated, discharged or separated on or before November 22, 2021.”
“The Biden administration has shown an unprecedented, cavalier attitude toward the rule of law and an utter ineptitude at basic constitutional contours,” the plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Yoder told the network after Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling.
Describing this mandate as “dangerous to American liberty,” Yoder said that “our Constitution protects and secures the right to remain free from religious persecution and coercion.”
Similarly, he praised Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling and said that “we are one step closer to putting the Biden administration back in its place by limiting government to its enumerated powers. It’s time citizens and courts said no to tyranny. The Constitution does not need to be rewritten, it needs to be reread.”
Biden’s announcement on vaccine mandates across different sectors of society drew significant criticism, leading to lawsuits from several states over the requirements.
Ahead of the mandate’s deadline, several trade associations—including cargo carriers and truckers groups—issued warnings to the Biden administration that vaccine mandates would snarl supply chain bottlenecks and trigger chaos nationwide.
The Washington court order came as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, announced that his state filed a lawsuit against the White House over its vaccine mandate for federal contractors.
The Epoch Times has contacted the White House press office for comment.