Tennessee AG joins others in lawsuit challenging federal vaccine mandate

Tennessee News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors as supported by the Biden administration.

A release from General Slatery’s office states his lawsuit is one of many similar lawsuits filed across the country, joined by the AGs of Ohio and Kentucky.

The lawsuit, as explained by Slatery, was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, which asserts that the Biden administration’s mandatory vaccination requirement is “unlawful and unconstitutional.”

“Unless we intervene, federal contractors in Tennessee will be forced to make sense of the mandate’s many inconsistencies that require their entire workforce be vaccinated or face potential blacklisting and loss of future federal contracts,” said General Slatery in the release. “That is simply unworkable and this lawsuit seeks to stop it.”

In the lawsuit, the attorneys general outline the harm they believe the mandate could cause for their respective states and citizens.

The release highlights that nationwide, the Department of Labor reports that federal contractors account for approximately one-fifth of the country’s entire labor force. This specific coalition of attorneys general argue that “the potential workforce loss among federal contractors presents a significant concern for the economies of their states and could exacerbate ongoing supply chain issues.”

The release detailed that the attorneys general further argue that the vaccine mandate would violate state sovereignty by preventing the states from exercising their police power to establish laws regarding workforce vaccination policies.

The attorneys general also contend that the mandate is unconstitutional because Congress did not give the President authority to issue such a broad mandate, according to the release. 

The coalition wrote in the release that “the imposed mandates are unconstitutional because Congress did not articulate a clear principle by legislative act that directs the Executive to take sweeping action that infringes on state and individual rights.” 

To read the full complaint, CLICK HERE.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released emergency temporary standards Thursday stating that large employers would have to comply with the mandate by Jan. 4, 2022, or face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation.

The guidelines mandate that companies of more than 100 workers would have to implement a vaccine mandate by the deadline. For those workers who choose not to get the shot, a weekly testing requirement, as well as mandatory masking, would be implemented.

Different rules would apply for those who work in nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid. Those workers, according to OSHA, will not have an option for testing and will need to be vaccinated.

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