A federal judge for the district court in Washington, DC, issued a temporary restraining order on Thursday barring the Biden administration from firing both unvaccinated civilians and active-duty military members, Fox News reported.
The order comes after 20 plaintiffs sued the Biden administration for its handling of religious exemptions in its Chinese coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal employees. President Joe Biden issued an executive order on September 9 requiring all employees working for a federal contractor or subcontractor to get vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus by November 24 to be considered “fully vaccinated” by a December 8, 2021, deadline. The mandate will also order private companies with more than 100 employees to implement required vaccinations or weekly testing for employees.
“None of the civilian employee plaintiffs will be subject to discipline while his or her request for a religious exception is pending,” District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered, according to a Minute Order obtained by Fox News.
In her ruling, Kollar-Kotelly also ordered “active duty military plaintiffs, whose religious exception requests have been denied, will not be disciplined or separated during the pendency of their appeals,” the report states.
BREAKING: @Yoder_Esq with a HUGE WIN in Church v. Biden.
(Yes, that’s the actual case caption. For those playing along, 1:21-cv-2815)
This is an amazing development from the DC District Court in the stand for OUR RIGHTS against the unconstitutional vaccine mandates. pic.twitter.com/kWus7XQ4pp
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) October 28, 2021
The Biden administration must file a supplemental notice by noon on Friday stating if they will agree to comply with the court’s ruling that no plaintiff will be fired or disciplined before the court rules in the case.
The administration has faced intense backlash since Biden announced the mandate, especially since he repeatedly promised to make vaccination voluntary. After much pressure, on Wednesday, the White House Coronavirus Response coordinator, Jeffrey Zients, claimed federal contractors “will not be required to immediate [sic] lay-off workers” and will allow time for “education, counseling and other measures before potentially ending employment,” Reuters reported.
In a statement obtained by Fox News from the plaintiff’s attorney, Michael Yoder, Yoder said the Biden administration has displayed “an unprecedented, cavalier attitude toward the rule of law and an utter ineptitude at basic constitutional contours.”
The statement continued:
This combination is dangerous to American liberty. Thankfully, our Constitution protects and secures the right to remain free from religious persecution and coercion. 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.
Notably, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) administration announced on Thursday that it also filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for its Chinese coronavirus vaccine mandates, suing both Biden and NASA.
This case is Church v. Biden, No. 1:21-cv-2815 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.