Federal Manager's Daily Report

In both cases, three-judge panels of the appeals courts told the lower court to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction without examining underlying issues in the complaints such as whether the mandate exceeds a President’s authority over the federal workforce. Image: Felix Lipov/Shutterstock.com

A second federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to the Biden administration’s Coronavirus vaccination mandate for federal employees.

The ruling by the Fourth Circuit court, like one by the Fifth Circuit two weeks ago, held that the employees challenging the mandate were required to go through the federal employee appeals processes rather than directly into court. In both cases, the rulings held that the disputes fell within the channels the Civil Service Reform Act specifically created to be used first by federal employees—including those involving claims of violations of Constitutional rights—with review by federal courts possible afterward.

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The ruling came on an appeal of the the federal district court for Maryland’s refusal to grant an injunction against the mandate on grounds that the employees were unlikely to succeed. That’s in contrast to the case before the Fifth Circuit in which a federal district judge in Texas had issued a nationwide injunction against the mandate in January.

In both cases, three-judge panels of the appeals courts told the lower court to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction without examining underlying issues in the complaints such as whether the mandate exceeds a President’s authority over the federal workforce.

The Biden administration has asked the Fifth Circuit to allow it to begin enforcing the mandate immediately, rather than having to wait at least until May 31 under standard legal procedures. The group sponsoring that suit, Feds for Medical Freedom, meanwhile has indicated that it will ask for reconsideration by the full court of the panel’s ruling.

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