A Washington, D.C., district court judge issued a temporary restraining order Thursday that prevents both civilian and active-duty military plaintiffs from being terminated after they sued the Biden administration over religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccines.
“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.
President Joe Biden puts his face mask on after speaking about the COVID-19 relief package in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, March 15, 2021, in Washington. (Associated Press)
The judge also ruled 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 court further ordered the defendants in the Biden administration to file a supplemental notice by noon on Friday that indicates whether they will agree that no plaintiff will be disciplined or terminated pending the court’s ruling.
President Joe Biden holds his face mask and waves as he exits Air Force One at Capital Region International Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Lansing, Mich. (Associated Press)
Twenty plaintiffs sued President Biden and members of his administration in their official capacity over the president’s Sept. 9 executive order mandating vaccines for federal employees, according to civil action filed Sunday.
“The Biden administration has shown an unprecedented, cavalier attitude toward the rule of law and an utter ineptitude at basic constitutional contours,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Yoder in a statement to Fox News.
“This combination is dangerous to American liberty,” Yoder continued. “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.”
In this Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, file photo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site in Pembroke Pines, Florida. (Associated Press)
The lawsuit is the latest the administration faces amid growing claims that its vaccine mandates are unconstitutional.
The court order came the same day that Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced that his state filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its vaccine mandate for federal contractors.