JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (AP) – 11 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit Friday against President Joe Biden’s administration challenging a new vaccine requirement for workers in companies with more than 100 employees.
The lawsuit, filed in the 8th US District Court of Appeals in St. Louis, argues that the right to demand vaccinations belongs to the states, not the federal government.
“This mandate is unconstitutional, illegal and unreasonable,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, one of several Republicans vying for an open seat in the US Senate next year, said in a statement.
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New regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are directing companies with more than 100 employees to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly for the virus and wear masks at work. The requirement is to start the game on January 4th. Failure to do so could result in a fine of almost $ 14,000 per violation.
Schmitt said there are 3,443 private employers in Missouri that could be covered by the vaccine, with nearly 1.3 million employees.
He said he was suing “to protect personal freedoms, keep business in Missouri and fight back bureaucratic tyrants who just want power and control.”
The Biden administration is promoting widespread vaccinations as the fastest way out of the pandemic. A White House spokeswoman said Thursday that the mandate was aimed at stopping the spread of the disease, which has claimed more than 750,000 lives in the United States.
Missouri joined the lawsuit filed by Republican attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The office of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, has also joined the lawsuit, along with several private, nonprofit and religious employers.
The conservative media company Daily Wire filed a federal lawsuit Thursday. Companies in Michigan and Ohio, represented by a conservative law firm, did the same.