The Biden administration has refused a Washington,district court judge’s request to halt disciplinary actions against federal employees who are not vaccinated against .
The employees in question are suing the administration because they argue not allowing for religious exemptions to the vaccine rule would cause ‘irreparable harm’ to ‘hundreds of thousands’ of people.
‘If Defendants are not enjoined from enforcing the Vaccine Mandates, hundreds of thousands of federal workers and military personnel will be forcibly removed from our government and Armed Forces, thrusting our nation into a state more vulnerable than the United States has experienced in a quarter of a millennium,’ the lawsuit, obtained by, read.
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued an order on Thursday asking theto commit to not firing or taking action against the 20 plaintiffs named in the suit.
She asked Biden officials to agree that ‘none of the civilian employee plaintiffs will be subject to discipline while his or her request for a religious exception is pending’ and also that ‘active duty military plaintiffs, whose religious exception requests have been denied, will not be disciplined or separated during the pendency of their appeals.’
The Biden administration signaled it wont compromise the president’s sweeping vaccine order over a district judge’s request
She also directed all of Biden’s Cabinet secretaries to send a memo to confirm they won’t fire employees with pending religious exemptions.
Kollar-Kotelly asked them to respond by noon on Friday, and so earlier today the administration responded by saying there was no evidence the claims were being denied in the first place.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is pictured before the start of a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Washington in 2008. On Thursday she asked the White House to halt discipinary action against employees of the government suing over the vaccine mandate until the case can be resolved
‘It is Plaintiffs’ burden to demonstrate impending irreparable harm,’ White House lawyers said.
‘But Plaintiffs offer nothing beyond speculation to suggest that their religious exception requests will be denied and that they will be disciplined at all, much less on the first day that such discipline is theoretically possible.’
The White House has not immediately returned a request for comment.
The plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Yoder accused the Biden administration of shrugging off the Constitution.
‘The Biden administration has shown an unprecedented, cavalier attitude toward the rule of law and an utter ineptitude at basic constitutional contours,’ Yoder told Fox after the judge’s order but before the White House’s refusal.
He called it a ‘dangerous’ combination for ‘American liberty.’
‘Thankfully, our Constitution protects and secures the right to remain free from religious persecution and coercion,’ the lawyer said.
‘With this order, 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.’
COVID vaccinations in the US have increased slightly after the president cracked down on unvaccinated Americans, who were bearing the brunt of the summer virus wave
Since the start of the pandemic the US has seen nearly 46 million confirmed coronavirus cases
In early September President Biden announced that federal workers and contractors would no longer have the option of weekly COVID testing or a vaccine. He also required hospitals and other health care centers receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid also get staff vaccinated.
Biden also directed the Labor Department to draw up new guidelines requiring all private companies with 100 or more employees to either implement a vaccine mandate or a weekly testing system.
‘We have been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us. So please, do the right thing,’ Biden said in a televised address after the summer months saw COVID once again spiraling out of control, largely in states with low vaccination rates.
The sweeping order affects more than 100 million people, or roughly a third of the US workforce.
Kollar-Kotelly’s order came the same day as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launched his own legal challenge against Biden’s vaccine mandate, specifically targeting federal contractors.
In a lawsuit, a copy of which was given to DailyMail.com, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody allege Biden’s sweeping vaccine order will cause ‘imminent irreparable harm’ to Florida.
A spokesperson for DeSantis’ office told DailyMail.com that DeSantis believes ‘no one should have to choose between a jab and a job.’
Biden, Nelson, NASA, the Defense Department and several other White House officials from the Office of Management and Budget are all named as defendants in the suit.
DeSantis argues that NASA, whose principal launch base is the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s central Atlantic coast, ‘is and will continue to seek to impose the Biden administration’s unlawful requirements to Florida.’
‘Because Florida’s employees are generally not required to be vaccinated, the challenged actions threaten Florida with the loss of millions of dollars in future contracting opportunities and put undue pressure on Florida to create new policies and change existing ones, each of which threatens Florida with imminent irreparable harm,’ the lawsuit reads.
The suit, first obtained by, cites the ‘frequent contracts’ and ‘current contractual relationships’ the federal science agency has with DeSantis’ state.
‘Because the government’s unlawful vaccine requirement seeks to interfere with Florida’s employment policies and threaten Florida with economic harm and the loss of federal contracts, the State seeks relief from this Court,’ it reads.
Filed in a US district court in Tampa, the move is the latest blow against the Biden administration in a series of escalating tensions between the Democratic president and Republican governors who accuse him of overstepping his authority.
DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw told DailyMail.com, ‘Governor DeSantis is committed to protecting Floridians’ jobs, including those who work for federal contractors. No one should have to choose between a jab and a job, or give up their bodily autonomy due to unlawful and unscientific edicts.’
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