19 states including Idaho, Utah and Wyoming sue Biden administration over COVID vaccine rule

COLUMBIA, Missouri (AP) – Eighteen states filed three separate lawsuits Friday to end President Joe Biden’s tenure on the COVID-19 vaccine for federal contractors, arguing the requirement violates federal law.

The attorneys general of Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming have signed a lawsuit, which was filed in Missouri federal district court. Another group of states, including Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia, filed a lawsuit in Georgia Federal District Court.

Texas also sued individually on Friday.

States have asked a federal judge to block Biden’s requirement that all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated against the coronavirus by December 8, arguing the warrant violates federal government procurement law and constitutes an infringement excessive federal power.

“If the federal government tries to exercise its will unconstitutionally and force federal contractors to impose vaccinations, the workforce and businesses could be decimated, further exacerbating the supply chain crisis. and the workforce, ”Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, said in a statement. . “The federal government shouldn’t force vaccinations, and that’s why we filed a lawsuit today – to end this illegal and unconstitutional action.”

New Hampshire Republican Attorney General John Formella said in a statement that COVID vaccines are safe, effective and encouraged, but the benefits “do not justify breaking the law.”

Florida sued Thursday, bringing to 19 the number of states challenging the Biden administration’s tenure in four federal courts.

Biden argued that a broad vaccination mandate would help end the deadly pandemic, but Republicans nationwide have opposed the vaccination requirements and threatened to pursue similar lawsuits.

Texas filed a similar lawsuit Friday in federal district court in a federal court in Galveston, Texas, seeking to block execution of the warrant.

“The Biden administration has repeatedly expressed its contempt for Americans who choose not to be vaccinated, and it has committed repeated and abusive excesses by the federal government to impose something on Americans that they do not want,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement. “The federal government does not have the capacity to deny individuals of their choice whether or not to be vaccinated. If the president thinks his patience is running out, he clearly underestimates the lack of patience of the Texans whose rights he is violating.

A number of states have also said they will challenge Biden’s plan for the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a rule that would mandate vaccines for all private companies with 100 employees or more.

“We will not allow the Biden administration to circumvent the law or force hard-working Georgians to choose between their livelihood or this vaccine,” Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia said in a statement.

The Democratic Party of Georgia called the trial a “dangerous political coup.”

Florida filed a separate lawsuit against the federal mandate on Thursday. All lawsuits claim that the president does not have the authority to issue the rule and that it violates government procurement law. The lawsuits also argue that the rule violates the 10th Amendment’s reserve power to states, illegally uses federal spending to coerce states, and that 60 days of public comment was not properly allowed.

The Georgia lawsuit, for example, argues that such a rule could only be valid if Congress passed it into law.

“Biden has once again shown an open contempt for the rule of law by seizing power that Congress never gave him,” said Republican Attorney General of Alabama Steve Marshall.

States argue that large numbers of federal contract workers will resign, meaning states will have to choose between breaking contracts because of a shrunken workforce who cannot do all the work, or breaking contracts. withholding unvaccinated employees in violation of federal laws. rules.

All but two of the states that have sued are tracking the national average immunization rate. Only New Hampshire and Florida exceed the national rate.


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Joseph D. Whitman

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