Utah joins legal action against White House order to vaccinate federal contractors against COVID-19

Seven states sign the lawsuit, which matches the actions of a dozen other Republican-led states.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Stickers in English and Spanish are available for people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at the old Provo High School at 1125 N. University Ave. Wednesday July 28, 2021.

Utah and six other states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration in an attempt to block a warrant requiring federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia on Friday, is brought by the states of Utah, Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas , South Carolina, and West Virginia, as well as government officials and government departments in some of those states.

A group of elected Utah leaders, in a joint statement, accused Biden of “making a habit of going beyond the limits of his authority.” In so doing, it unnecessarily exacerbates stress on the supply chain, hurting the economy, forcing workers to quit their jobs and hurting American families. “

The Declaration – Signed by Governor Spencer Cox, Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Speaker of the Senate Stuart Adams, Speaker of the House Brad Wilson, Auditor John Dougall and Treasurer Marlo M. Oaks , all Republicans – said: “We have to take a stand for the hard-working Utahns who are forced to get vaccinated or lose their jobs.”

In a separate statement, Reyes said the seven states “are ready to fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. And if he follows through on his threat to impose a mandate on small businesses through OSHA, we will prosecute him again. “

Among the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are also the governors. Brian Kemp of Georgia, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Brad Little of Idaho, and Henry McMaster of South Carolina – all Republicans – as well as the Georgia University System Board of Regents, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, the Idaho State Board of Education and three Alabama cabinet departments.

Six of the seven states are ruled by Republican governors; the exception is Kansas, whose governor, Laura Kelly, is a Democrat.

The lawsuit mirrors two other lawsuits filed on Friday by Republican-led states, CNN reported. One was filed by the State of Texas; the other was filed by the Attorneys General of Missouri and Nebraska, and included Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming as applicants. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has filed a new lawsuit in Tampa against Biden’s order, which is expected to take effect on December 8.

Of the 19 states suing the Biden administration, two – Georgia and New Hampshire – opted for Biden in the 2020 presidential election. The remaining 17 all went to Donald Trump.

Biden said in September, when he announced the tenure of federal workers and contractors, that there would be legal challenges. His response at the time: “Wait a minute.”

Legal experts told The Associated Press in September that the White House appears to be on solid legal ground to place orders – both to workers and federal contractors and, through OSHA, to businesses. private – in the name of protecting the safety of employees.

“My bet is that as far as this statutory authority is concerned, they are on a pretty solid footing given the evidence strongly suggesting … the degree of risk that [unvaccinated individuals] pose, not only for themselves but also for others, ”University of Connecticut law professor Sachin Pandya told the AP.

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