Ten states with GOP leaderships filed a joint lawsuit Friday to challenge the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed a separate challenge. The lawsuits are part of a broader opposition by Republican-led states to requirements for immunizations that curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Attorneys general in Missouri, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming sued Biden and other federal officials Friday, arguing that a mandate encompassing one-fifth of U.S. workers infringes on states’ powers and is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit comes a day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) filed a similar case against the federal government. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said in a statement that he also intends to file a legal challenge.
The Republican officials argue that Biden lacks the authority to issue such an order impacting a large swath of the U.S. workforce.
“President Biden has arrogated to the Executive Branch the unilateral power to mandate that all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated,” the attorneys general wrote in a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. “This power grab is sweeping in its scope.”
Paxton filed his lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
The White House is gearing up for challenges, saying the mandates are legal and protect public health.
“Have at it,” Biden dared Republicans this month.
Legal experts have said that similar lawsuits from other states were unlikely to succeed, pointing to other vaccines the government has required.
“Carefully crafted coronavirus vaccination laws, with appropriate exemptions and penalties, are likely to survive constitutional challenges,” Lindsay F. Wiley, a professor of law at the American University Washington College of Law, and Steve Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, wrote in a post on Lawfare.