NEW ORLEAN – The Federal Court of Appeals is asked to reconsider its decision, which allows the Biden administration to require federal officials to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

A panel of the 5th U.S. District Court of Appeals last month overturned a lower court’s decision to block the mandate and ruled to dismiss the policy-challenging lawsuit by order of President Joe Biden in September.

However, this decision of the Board of Appeals 2-1 comes into force on May 31. On Saturday, opponents of the mandate, led by a group called the Federals for Freedom of Medicine, filed a petition asking for the April ruling to be overturned and for a full 17-member court to consider new arguments in the case.

On Monday, the 5th District asked the government to respond by June 2; it was unclear whether the court would take any action.


On September 9, Biden issued an order stating that more than 3.5 million federal executive employees are vaccinated without the possibility of regular screening, unless they receive permitted medical or religious exemptions.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump to the District Court of South Texas, in January issued a nationwide ban against the requirement. At the time, the White House said 98% of federal workers were already vaccinated.

In February, one 5th District Board refused to block Brown’s ruling pending an appeal. After hearing arguments in March, another panel ruled 2-1 that Brown had no jurisdiction in the case, and those who challenged the claim could avail themselves of administrative remedies under civil service law.

Judges Carl Stewart and James Dennis, both nominated by Democrat President Bill Clinton, made up the majority. Judge Reza Barksdale, a senior judge nominated by Republican President George W. Bush, disagreed, saying the relief sought by the contenders did not fall under the Civil Service Reform Act cited by the administration.

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