A increasing number of GOP-led states are challenging President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors, which is expected to take effect in the coming weeks.
A coalition of 10 states filed a lawsuit Friday asking for the rule to be blocked, with Texas filing a separate request combination. The court challenges come a day after Florida filed a similar trial.
“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 Texans whose rights he is violating, ”Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement on Friday.
Missouri and Nebraska attorneys general – Eric Schmitt and Doug Peterson, respectively – have filed their lawsuits with eight other states: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Officials argue that the Biden “wielded power far beyond what was delegated to the federal government by constitutional mandate or congressional action.”
The central argument in all three lawsuits is that the administration has no legal basis to impose such a drastic requirement and that its implementation would violate a federal government procurement law.
Biden announcement the mandate for federal workers and contractors last month, when it also put in place a rule that would require regular vaccinations or testing for employees of companies that have 100 or more workers. Federal contractors, however, would not be allowed to opt for testing instead of getting the shot.
Each state seeks an immediate injunction to the rule, which is intended to take effect December 8.
Public health experts have pointed out that vaccinations are the most effective way to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
In September, Biden called Republican governors to help fight the virus, but added: “If these governors don’t help us beat the pandemic, I will use my power as president to sideline them.”
Many Republican governors have fought the administration over its Covid-19 policies, ranging from resistance to mask warrants to banning private sector efforts to demand proof of vaccination.
Earlier this month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a decree prohibiting any entity, including private companies, from imposing Covid-19 vaccine requirements on employees or customers. Abbott said at the time that vaccines “should be voluntary and never forced.”