Judge Nixes Vaccine Mandate For DC Government Employees

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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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A D.C. Superior Court judge Thursday struck down D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s order that all District employees be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Bowser instituted the mandate last August requiring vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing for D.C. government workers in offices reporting directly to her, and proof of vaccination was later required by Feb. 15, 2022, according to Judge Maurice Ross’ decision. Ross found Bowser was not authorized to unilaterally require vaccination and ordered that all Fraternal Order of Police members be fully reimbursed for pay and benefits lost as a result.

“Had the Mayor just engaged the Union in good faith bargaining we could have reached a reasonable compromise that protected everyone’s interests,” D.C. Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton stated, reacting to the decision. “Now, all of our members can go back to doing the necessary work of trying to protect our communities from crime and violence without unlawful threats of discipline and termination.”

Washington D.C.’s public schools are still requiring all students over age 11 to be fully vaccinated by January 2023. (RELATED: Pentagon Ignores Biden Admin Order To Stop Testing Unvaccinated For COVID-19)

Bowser’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

“We are reviewing the Court’s ruling, and believe that the judge misunderstood the strength and diversity of the authorities we relied upon in issuing the employee vaccination mandate,” the office said, according to CBS affiliate WUSA9. “Going forward, we will comply with the Court’s orders as we continue encouraging our community to access life-saving vaccines.”

Update: This story has been updated to reflect that Washington D.C. public schools have extended their deadline for students 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline was originally within 20 days of the beginning of the school year but has been pushed to Jan. 3.

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