Attorneys general in 11 states filed suit Friday against President Joe Biden’s administration, challenging a new vaccine requirement for workers at companies with more than 100 employees.
The lawsuit filed in the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals argues that the authority to compel vaccinations rests with the states, not the federal government.
“This mandate is unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise,” said the court filing by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, one of several Republicans vying for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat next year.
New regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration require that companies with more than 100 employees force their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested for the virus weekly and wear masks on the job.
The requirement is to kick in Jan. 4.
Failure to comply could result in penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation.
Schmitt said Missouri has 3,443 private employers who could be covered by the vaccine requirement, with nearly 1.3 million employees.
He said he sued “to protect personal freedoms, preserve Missouri businesses, and push back on bureaucratic tyrants who simply want power and control.”
🚨 BREAKING: This morning, Missouri led a coalition of 11 states in filing suit to HALT the Biden Administration's unlawful vaccine mandate on private employers, making us the first states to file suit.
— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) November 5, 2021
The Biden administration has been pushing widespread vaccinations — under threat of job loss, if necessary — as the quickest way out of the pandemic.
Missouri was joined in the lawsuit by the Republican attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
This morning, our office co-led a multistate coalition of 11 states in a lawsuit against the Biden Administration and federal officials to stop their COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private employers with more than 100 employees. pic.twitter.com/BJLLNzEZBs
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) November 5, 2021
#BREAKING | As promised, I made sure Arkansas was one of the first states to file against @POTUS Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate. Arkansans deserve better than having to decide between getting the shot or losing a job. pic.twitter.com/HbsBSaYWfP
— Leslie Rutledge (@AGRutledge) November 5, 2021
The office of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, also joined in the suit, along with several private, nonprofit and religious employers.
The Daily Wire, a conservative media company, filed a challenge in federal court on Thursday.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) November 5, 2021
So did companies in Michigan and Ohio represented by a conservative advocacy law firm, as well as two Wisconsin manufacturers represented by a conservative law firm.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.