Alabama DA files lawsuit to block federal entrepreneurs’ vaccine mandate
Alabama Attorney Steve Marshall announced on Twitter Monday that he had filed a lawsuit to block a key part of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which he described as “blatantly unconstitutional.”
Marshall, a Republican, focused on the federal contractor’s mandate. He called the scope vague and wide and said that contractors who work from home – with no chance of infecting a colleague, are forced to take the sting according to the guidelines.
He said one of the reasons he filed the lawsuit was to prevent the president from continuing his seizure of power. Marshall said if one were to follow Biden’s logic, entire families of these contract workers could be forced to take the shot because of the risk of a home transfer.
“If he is empowered to force shots on these employees, ostensibly to keep them healthy and fit for work, then, according to his logic, he would have the authority to require the contract employee not only to confirm that he has received the injection – but that his wife and children too, “he said.
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Marshall said it was easy to write off the theory as a “slippery slope,” but referred to the White House position on vaccine mandates just months before the September 9 announcement. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told the media it was “not the job of the federal government” to give these mandates.
Healthcare workers prepare to administer doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine during a vaccination event in Birmingham, Alabama, USA on Saturday, August 28, 2021. Photographer: Andi Rice / Bloomberg via Getty Images
He said it was his goal that the mandate would not be enforced in any state. This mandate comes into force on December 8th.
Marshall previously issued a recommendation directing Alabama-based employers, including public university employers, to generously interpret all medical and religious immunization waiver requests “in the employee’s favor.”
When an employee requests a religious exemption, Marshall said, government agencies “shouldn’t investigate the validity of an employee’s religious beliefs, including the motives or reasons for holding the belief.” This deviates from the federal guidelines, in which federal employees are asked to participate in an interactive process and to bring documents with them that substantiate the application for an exception.
Protesters gather in front of the Gracie Mansion in New York, United States, during a protest against New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Thursday, October 28, 2021. Photographer: Stephanie Keith / Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Wall Street Journal reported that details on how these requirements work are expected to be released later this week. The paper states that the state contractor mandate has often been used by companies to enforce their own requirements.
A coalition of more than 10 U.S. attorneys general announced a lawsuit against the Biden government to halt COVID-19 vaccine mandates for federal contractors and federal contract workers.
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The lawsuit cited by Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt argues that the mandate violates the Procurement Act and lists 12 violations. States that have joined the lawsuit include Missouri, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
Alabama has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country with only 44.7% of the population fully vaccinated, compared to a national average of 58%.
In the lawsuit filed late Friday, Alabama alleged that many employees at the university and the Alabama Department of Public Health “would likely quit their jobs instead of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of continued employment.”
Even when sued by the state, the Auburn University and University of Alabama campuses have said that staff must be vaccinated by Nov. 8 as the campuses are all state contractors.
Fox News’s Kyle Morris and Associated Press contributed to this report