Trump appointee blocks Biden federal worker vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. judge in Texas has issued a nationwide injunction barring the federal government from enforcing President Joe Biden’s requirement that federal workers without qualifying medical or religious exemptions be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Judge Jeffrey Brown ruled Friday that opponents of Biden’s vaccination mandate for federal employees were likely to succeed at trial and blocked the government from enforcing the requirement. Brown was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas by then-President Donald Trump.

Biden announced in September that more than 3.5 million federal workers were required to undergo vaccination unless they secured approved medical or religious exemptions.

The Justice Department says it’ll appeal the judge’s ruling.