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Louisiana Attorney General sues Biden administration over vaccine requirement for federal contractors

LandrySteps2_071921
Paul Braun
/
WRKF
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry Speaks at a Louisiana Republican Party rally ahead of the state's first veto session. July 19, 2021.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is suing the federal government over the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for all federal contractors and businesses with more than 100 employees.

In a written statement, Landry argued that medical decisions should be made between patients and doctors, not mandated by the government.

“As chief legal officer of Louisiana, I’m taking action to prevent the government from making your healthcare choices,” Landry said in a video statement Thursday announcing he was leading the lawsuit to challenge the vaccine requirement for federal contractors. “Joe Biden is trying to bully our State and its citizens into complying with his unlawful mandate. I will not stand by; I will continue to stand up – fighting for Louisiana and her people.”

Hours later, Landry announced that he was signing onto a lawsuit led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenging the constitutionality of new Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines that require all employees of large businesses be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.

“Just when you think Joe Biden cannot possibly abuse his power any more, he then utilizes his government bureaucrats to threaten private employers,” said Attorney General Landry. “This latest Biden overreach is an egregious attack on the liberties and freedoms our great nation was built upon.”

The legal action comes just one day after the Biden administration issued the new rules through OSHA, which apply to all businesses with more than 100 employees, affecting 84 million workers nationwide.

The administration also issued rules through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would require all the 17 million healthcare workers at the 76,000 facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid be fully vaccinated.

It is unclear how many of the workers affected by the new rules have already been vaccinated. Employees have until January 4 to get fully vaccinated.

The administration has made it clear that the OSHA and CMS rules preempt any state and local laws that would ban an employer from requiring the vaccine.

In September, Biden issued an executive order requiring all federal contractors to be vaccinated. That order is the target of the lawsuit filed Thursday. Landry called the policy an “unconstitutional overreach” and “directly harmful to the state of Louisiana.”

Landry is joined in the suit by the Republican attorneys general of Mississippi and Indiana. Several Republican attorneys general around the country have also threatened to sue. Landry’s counterparts in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee have joined together to file their own lawsuit.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden Administration over its vaccine requirement for federal contractors last week. Paxton filed a separate suit Friday over the new vaccine rule for large companies, calling the move a “breathtaking abuse of federal power,” according to the Texas Tribune. Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah have signed onto the suit.