Eleven states file lawsuit over vaccine mandate for private businesses
The lawsuit calls the mandate unconstitutional and unlawful, while the administration sees it as necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19
November 8, 2022 / Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor
On Friday, the states of Missouri, Montana, Arizona and Nebraska co-led an 11-state coalition in filing a lawsuit against President Joe Biden and his administration to halt the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private employers with more than 100 employees. They’re the first states to file suit against the vaccine mandate on private employers.
Five private employers also joined the challenge. A petition for judicial review was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and a motion for stay is expected to be filed soon.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT?
The lawsuit challenges the Emergency Temporary Standard advanced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which requires private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate their employees to get vaccinated or implement weekly testing and mask requirements. Noncompliant businesses could face steep fines.
According to the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, there 3,443 private employers in Missouri with over 100 employees, meaning that roughly 1,289,588 employees in that state could be impacted by this vaccine mandate, according to a statement from Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
The petition states, “This mandate is unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise. The federal government lacks constitutional authority under its enumerated powers to issue this mandate, and its attempt to do so unconstitutionally infringes on the States’ powers expressly reserved by the Tenth Amendment. OSHA also lacks statutory authority to issue this mandate, which it shoe-horned into statutes that govern workplace safety, and which were never intended to federalize public-health policy.