Saturday, November 06, 2021

Oklahoma files two lawsuits over Biden Admin's vaccine mandate

Lengthy post, or rather series of press releases, but Oklahoma Attorney General has filed two lawsuits over the Biden Administration's new vaccine mandate. One is aimed at the mandate's provisions for federal contractors, and the other is regarding private sector employees. I'm also including comments from Gov. Kevin Stitt and House Speaker Charles McCall.

Attorney General O’Connor Files Lawsuit Against Biden Administration over Illegal Vaccine Mandates 

OKLAHOMA CITY - Today, the State of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration to stop its mandatory vaccination requirement for federal contractors.

“Biden’s vaccine mandates are a clear abuse of power. He does not have the authority to make healthcare decisions for Oklahomans,” Attorney General O’Connor said.

“It is sinister that Biden is threatening Oklahomans with the loss of their jobs if they do not surrender their personal rights and freedoms to the federal government. The President is using private employers to do his dirty work,” said General O’Connor.

This unconstitutional mandate against federal contractors will directly cause many hardworking, unvaccinated Oklahoman employees to lose their jobs. 

“How can they pay their mortgages and car payments? Then, months from now Biden and the democratic Congress will dole out trillions of dollars to support the people Biden drove out of the workforce,” General O’Connor said. “Who is going to pay for this?”

It is unknown whether Oklahoma or any State would fully recover from this reckless mandate’s economic impact. 

The Biden Administration has previously admitted that it is not the federal government’s role to enforce vaccine mandates.

Attorney General O’Connor and 20 other Attorneys General wrote President Biden last week to challenge his Administration’s mandatory vaccination requirement for federal contractors.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office has acquired outside counsel to assist with the lawsuit.

We will ask the court to immediately enjoin the effect of Biden’s vaccination order.

“We appreciate the support from our State’s Senate and the House,” Attorney General O’Connor said. “With their support, we can stand up for the rights of Oklahomans and defend the rule of law against federal overreach.”

In addition, our office is currently finalizing another lawsuit to challenge the OSHA rules that were released today. We plan to file it shortly.

View a copy of the federal contract lawsuit filing here.  

Attorney General John O’Connor Files Lawsuit Challenging Biden Administration’s Vaccine Mandate for Private Sector Employees
Joins Seven-State Coalition Challenging OSHA’s Authority to Issue Mandate

OKLAHOMA CITY - Attorney General John O’Connor today partnered with six other attorneys general to file a petition before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit challenging the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for private sector employees. 

The coalition asks the court to review the emergency temporary standard issued by the Biden Administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which requires the vaccination of tens of millions of citizens.

“In Oklahoma, President Biden will not determine how an individual makes healthcare decisions for themselves and their families,” General O’Connor said. “The Biden Administration continuously uses federal overreach to strip away Americans’ constitutional rights and I will continue to defend the rule of law against this absurd abuse of power.”

Despite warnings from attorneys general across the country about the legality of a vaccine mandate, the Biden administration issued the emergency temporary standard through OSHA today.

In their petition, the coalition challenges the legality of the Biden Administration’s emergency temporary standard and asks the Sixth Circuit to review the validity of the mandate, arguing that OSHA lacks statutory and constitutional authority to issue it.

The coalition argues that the power to issue emergency temporary standards was delegated to OSHA by Congress for the express purpose of protecting employees from grave dangers posed by exposure to substances or physically harmful toxins encountered at work.

However, that authority does not extend to risks that are equally prevalent at work and in society at large. Just last year, OSHA refused to issue a nationwide emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 because "COVID-19 is a community-wide hazard that is not unique to the workplace."

The coalition also contends that the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate prohibits sovereign states from enacting and enforcing their own policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OSHA’s mandate takes away that power from the states and prevents policymakers from enacting policies that are beneficial to their respective states.

The attorneys general ask the court to halt President Biden’s vaccine mandate until the court rules on the legitimacy of the rule.  

“We are thankful for the support of the legislature to bring this lawsuit on behalf of the State and the governor,” General O’Connor said. “With their support, we can protect hardworking Oklahomans from this reckless and unconstitutional federal overreach.”

Attorney General O’Connor joined the lawsuit alongside attorneys general from Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

View a copy of the filing here.


GOVERNOR STITT ANNOUNCES FEDERAL LAWSUITS TO FIGHT BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S VACCINE MANDATES

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 5, 2021) — Governor Kevin Stitt issued the following statement after Attorney General John O’Connor filed lawsuits on behalf of the State of Oklahoma to fight back against the Biden administration unilaterally imposing unlawful vaccine mandates on federal contractors and federally contracted employees as well as private sector employees:

“I promised Oklahomans that we would sue the Biden administration for its unlawful vaccine mandates as soon as the rules were made public and that is exactly what we’ve done.

“I am proud to have Attorney General John O’Connor and the Legislature on our side fighting back against the constant federal overreach coming from the Biden White House.

“We’ve asked the courts to immediately intervene and stop President Biden from demanding that American citizens comply with the federal government’s order to get a vaccine to keep their jobs.

“Forcing people out of work while businesses across the country are already struggling to find enough employees and our supply chain is experiencing historic disruptions proves that President Biden is totally out of touch with reality.

“I will keep fighting to protect Oklahomans’ individual freedoms, and this mandate will not stand.”


Speaker McCall thanks AG O'Connor for challenging President Biden in court

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, released the following statement today in response to Oklahoma's lawsuits challenging proposed federal vaccine mandates for private businesses and contractors:

"Attorney General John O'Connor is properly exercising the authority and funding the Legislature provided for aggressive defense against overreach from President Biden's administration. A lot of Oklahomans and businesses are thankful their state is standing up for their rights in court. Oklahoma will defend our citizenry's freedom and rights as a state."

Background

House Bill 1236 – coauthored by nearly all House Republicans and enacted into law in the 2021 session – created the State Reserved Powers Unit in Office of the Attorney General to assert Oklahoma's 10th Amendment rights as a state through legal challenges of federal actions, "including, but not limited to, executive orders by the President of the United States, rules or regulations promulgated by an agency of the federal government or acts of Congress." The Legislature also approved a direct appropriation of $10 million to the Office of the Attorney General to support such challenges.

Using House Bill 1236's authority, Attorney General John O'Connor on Thursday announced he has filed a lawsuit challenging President Biden's attempted federal contractor vaccine mandate and will file another lawsuit shortly challenging the president's attempted employer vaccine mandate. The federal government is attempting to implement the mandates under a presidential executive order, without congressional authorization.

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