State Watch — Verizon

Attorneys general in 10 GOP states join fight against Biden administration’s vaccine mandate

Ten attorneys general in states with GOP governors have joined the fight to push back against a Biden administration vaccine mandate for federal contractors, arguing that it is “unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.”

The lawsuit filed by the attorneys general from the states of Missouri, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming called a vaccine mandate issued by the Biden administration that requires federal contractors to get the COVID-19 shot by Dec. 8 a “power grab.”

The lawsuit alleges that the requirement was an unlawful usurpation of the states’ police powers, violates the 10th Amendment and is “non consistent” with procurement law, among other concerns. 

“If the federal government attempts to unconstitutionally exert its will and force federal contractors to mandate vaccinations, the workforce and businesses could be decimated, further exacerbating the supply chain and workforce crises,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement.

“The federal government should not be mandating vaccinations, and that’s why we filed suit today – to halt this illegal, unconstitutional action,” he added.

“The ramifications of the federal contractor vaccine mandate are significant,” Nebraska Attorney General Douglas Peterson said in a statement. “It will impact countless employees, exacerbate existing workforce shortages, and create economic instability. Most importantly, it puts individual employees who happened to work for federal contractors out of a job if they simply make the personal choice not to be vaccinated.”

A White House official told McClatchy, responding to legal challenges waged by Missouri and Florida, that President Biden “has authority to protect the federal workforce and promote efficiency in federal contracting in this way,” arguing that the vaccine mandate does not violate federal procurement law.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

The lawsuit follows legal challenges to the federal contractor vaccine mandate that have been waged by several other states, including Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Texas and Florida.

Tags COVID-19 Joe Biden vaccine mandate
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