Kemp, other GOP governors to sue Biden administration over vaccine mandate

Kemp, other GOP governors to sue Biden administration over vaccine mandate
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Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempKemp sues Biden administration over Medicaid work requirements Predictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure Perdue proposes election police force in Georgia MORE (R) will file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for federal contractors, his office announced Friday.

Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr (R) were joined on the complaint by leaders from Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia. It comes on the heels of a similar lawsuit filed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisTrans rights under attack: The persecution should stop now Florida first lady Casey DeSantis completes chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer Trump by the numbers: 2024 isn't simple MORE (R) on Thursday. 

"In addition to being an unlawful and unconstitutional overreach, this vaccine mandate on federal contractors will only further divide Americans and hamstring our economy," Kemp said in a statement.

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The policy is scheduled to take effect Dec. 8, and will require all federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19, without a testing option.

The plaintiffs are asking the court for an injunction blocking the administration and federal agencies from enforcing the mandate on any contractor based in their respective states. 

Both Kemp and Carr face reelection next year, and Kemp is likely to face a Trump-backed challenger after he ran afoul of the former president by certifying the 2020 election results.

"We will challenge this heavy-handed directive that not only serves as a clear violation of law but also places immense burden on our state," Carr said in a statement.

Shortly after Biden announced the mandate in September, Kemp said he intended to sue to stop it.

Health experts have praised mandates as an effective way to get people vaccinated, and the White House has fully leaned into them as a way to turn the tide of the pandemic, after initially steering clear of federal intervention.

On Wednesday, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsBiden says announcement coming next week on free high-quality masks Overnight Health Care — CDC won't change mask recommendation US ordering 500K more courses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody cocktail MORE said the purpose of the mandates isn't to punish people, and noted the deadlines for federal employees and contractors "are not cliffs."

Zients said federal employers and contractors will be expected to educate, counsel and accommodate their unvaccinated workers to persuade them to receive the shot before terminating them.