Two dozen state attorneys general have signed a letter opposing the Biden administration’s plan to require employers with 100 or more employees to have workers get vaccinated against COVID-19 or get tested weekly.
“We thus urge you to reconsider your unlawful and harmful plan and allow people to make their own decisions,” the 24 Republican officials wrote to their letter to the president. “If your Administration does not alter its course, the undersigned state Attorneys General will seek every available legal option to hold you accountable and uphold the rule of law.”
The attorneys general who signed the letter were from the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
“The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work,” according to the White House. “OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement.”
So far 63.5% of the U.S. population ages 12 and older has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 74.2% of that demographic has received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive,” the state officials said in their letter. “From a policy perspective, this edict is unlikely to win hearts and minds—it will simply drive further skepticism. And at least some Americans will simply leave the job market instead of complying.”
The attorneys general said that the “edict is also illegal.”
Arizona has already lodged a legal challenge against federal vaccine mandates, pointing out that aliens who unlawfully enter the U.S. are not forced to get COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Although the precise contours of the federal vaccination mandates are not yet clear, the violation of the Equal Protection Clause is already evident and egregious,” the complaint states. “In a nutshell: unauthorized aliens will not be subject to any vaccination requirements even when released directly into the United States (where most will remain), while roughly a hundred million U.S. citizens will be subject to unprecedented vaccination requirements. This reflects an unmistakable—and unconstitutional—brand of favoritism in favor of unauthorized aliens. “
In addition to a vaccine mandate for large employers, the president has also moved to require vaccination for federal executive branch workers and employees of contractors that work with the federal government.
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies,” according to the White House.