24 State Attorney Generals Issue Letter to President Biden Threatening Lawsuit Over His Federal Vaccine Mandate

Twenty-four state lawyer generals are threatening to sue the Biden administration over the federal vaccine mandate that it earlier issued by govt order. On Thursday, the state AGs delivered a letter to the Biden administration on the lawsuit they intend to carry if it doesn’t rescind its federal mandate.

“We, the Attorneys Common of 24 states, write in opposition to your try to mandate the vaccination of personal residents,” the AGs’ letter reads. “On September 9, you introduced that you’d be ordering the Division of Labor to situation an emergency momentary commonplace, underneath the Occupational Security and Well being (OSH) Act , which might mandate that non-public sector employers require most of their workers to both get a COVID-19 shot, undergo weekly testing, or be fired. Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive. From a coverage perspective, this edict is unlikely to win hearts and minds-it will merely drive additional skepticism. And not less than some Individuals will merely go away the job market as an alternative of complying.”

“This may additional pressure an already-too-tight labor market, burdening corporations and (subsequently) threatening the roles of even those that have obtained a vaccine,” the letter continues. “Worse nonetheless, a lot of those that determine to go away their jobs slightly than observe your directive will likely be important healthcare employees. That is no idle hypothesis. A New York hospital just lately introduced its plans to cease delivering infants after a number of employees members resigned within the face of New York’s mandate} And up to date polling suggests these frontline healthcare employees aren’t outliers. 2 Thus, Mr. President, your vaccination mandate represents not solely a menace to particular person liberty, however a public well being catastrophe that may displace weak employees and exacerbate a nationwide hospital staffing disaster, with extreme penalties for all Individuals.”

“This authorities edict can be prone to improve skepticism of vaccines. You emphasised at your September 9 announcement ‘that the vaccines present very robust safety from extreme sickness from COVID-19 … [and] the world’s main scientists affirm that if you’re totally vaccinated, your danger of extreme sickness from COVID-19 could be very low’,” the letter continues. “You additional said that ‘solely considered one of out of each 160,000 totally vaccinated Individuals was hospitalized for COVID per day.’ And also you mentioned ‘the science makes clear’ that ‘in case you’re totally vaccinated, you’re extremely shielded from extreme sickness, even in case you get COVID-19.’ The mandate, nonetheless, sends precisely the other sign: it means that the vaccinated want safety from those that, for no matter private motive, select to not or can not obtain a COVID-19 shot. That’s hardly a press release of confidence within the efficacy of vaccines.”

“The coverage additionally fails to account for variations between workers that will justify extra nuanced remedy by employers,” the letter states. “Most obviously, your coverage inexplicably fails to acknowledge pure immunity. Certainly, the CDC estimated that by late Might 2021, over 120 million Individuals had already been contaminated, and that quantity is probably going tens of hundreds of thousands larger at present.4 And your sweeping mandate fails to account for the truth that many workers-for instance, those that work at home or work outdoors-are at virtually no danger of publicity from their co-workers no matter vaccine standing. A one-size-fits-all coverage will not be reasoned decision-making. It’s energy for energy’s sake.”

“Your edict can be unlawful,” the letter provides. “You intend to implement your mandate via the not often used emergency momentary commonplace provision within the OSH Act. In response to the Congressional Analysis Service, the Division has tried to undertake an emergency momentary commonplace just one different time since 1983 (and that one exception got here in June of this 12 months and is being challenged). An emergency momentary commonplace doesn’t must undergo discover and remark and might be made efficient instantly upon publication. Due to this lack of course of and oversight, courts have seen these requirements with suspicion. Between 1971 and 1983, the Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) issued 9 emergency momentary requirements. Of these, six have been challenged. The courts totally vacated or stayed the requirements in 4 instances, partially stayed the requirements in one other, and upheld solely one of many six.”

“Courts are skeptical as a result of the legislation calls for it,” the letter continues. “To justify an emergency momentary commonplace, OSHA should decide that ’workers are uncovered to grave hazard from publicity to substances or brokers decided to be poisonous or bodily dangerous or from new hazards …. ‘ and it should conclude that ‘such emergency commonplace is important to guard workers from such hazard.’ Every of the italicized phrases defeats your try to depend on this statute. First, whereas ‘grave hazard’ is left undefined, your personal statements in the course of the announcement that those that are vaccinated have little likelihood of hospitalization or demise undercut any assertion that there’s ‘grave hazard.’ Furthermore, many Individuals who’ve recovered from COVID-19 have obtained a stage of pure immunity, and the statistics are clear that younger individuals with out co-morbidities have a low danger of hospitalization from COVID-19. You thus can not plausibly meet the excessive burden of displaying that workers normally are in grave hazard.”

“What’s extra, the COVID-19 virus will not be the form of ‘substance,’ ‘agent,’ or ‘hazard’ to which the statute refers,” the lawyer generals level out. “OSHA, as its full identify suggests, exists to make sure occupational security. In different phrases, it offers with work-related hazards, not all hazards one may encounter wherever on the earth. Congress made this clear in empowering OSHA to ascertain office requirements not regarding no matter it likes, however slightly ’employment and locations of employment. ‘ The findings Congress handed with the legislation say the invoice was motivated by a priority that ‘private accidents and diseases arising out of labor conditions impose a considerable burden upon . . . interstate commerce.’ Congress expressly supposed to encourage ’employers and workers of their efforts to scale back the variety of occupational security and well being hazards at their locations of employment’.”

“When used within the context of a legislation directed towards occupational security, the phrases ‘substances,’ ‘brokers,’ and ‘hazards’ relate to the risks introduced by the job itself-for instance, chemical substances used at job websites and instruments used to hold out tasks-not to risks current on the earth usually. And certainly, that is per how the Act elsewhere makes use of these phrases. One provision, for instance, requires the federal government to organize a report ‘itemizing all poisonous substances in industrial utilization.’ One other provision repeatedly imposes duties and powers concerning ‘substances’ and ‘brokers’ to which workers are uncovered as a part of their employment. Nonetheless one other requires research concerning ‘the contamination of employees’ houses with hazardous chemical substances and substances, together with infectious brokers, transported from the workplaces of such employees.’ All of those provisions are most naturally targeted on risks occurring at work due to one’s work, versus risks occurring in society usually, together with at work.”

“Lastly, broadly mandating vaccinations (or weekly COVID-19 testing) for 80 million Individuals, just because they work at a enterprise of a sure measurement, hardly appears ‘essential’ to satisfy any such hazard,” the lawyer generals notice. “Quite the opposite, it’s vastly overbroad and inexact. There are a lot of much less intrusive means to fight the unfold of COVID-19 aside from requiring vaccinations or COVID- 19 testing. The dangers of COVID-19 unfold additionally differ extensively relying on the character of the enterprise in query, a lot of which may have their workers, for instance, work remotely. The one-size­fits-almost-all strategy you’ve gotten decreed makes clear that you simply intend to make use of the OSH act as a pretext to impose an unprecedented, controversial public well being measure on a nationwide foundation that solely by the way considerations the office.”

The lawyer generals proceed to offer extra authorized bases for the forthcoming potential lawsuit earlier than closing their argument. The letter might be learn in full beneath:

“The vaccines have helped shield hundreds of thousands of Individuals, and there are certainly others who may gain advantage from acquiring this remedy,” the lawyer generals argue. “However convincing those that are hesitant to take action would require you to permit room for dialogue and disagreement. As a substitute, you’ve gotten supplied the American individuals flimsy authorized arguments, contradictory statements, and threatening directives. It’s virtually as in case your aim is to sow division and mistrust, slightly than promote unity and the general public’s well being.”

“We thus urge you to rethink your illegal and dangerous plan and permit individuals to make their very own selections,” the lawyer generals warn. “In case your Administration doesn’t alter its course, the undersigned state Attorneys Common will search each obtainable authorized choice to carry you accountable and uphold the rule of legislation.”

The next states are signatories to the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. | 24 State Lawyer Generals Challenge Letter to President Biden Threatening Lawsuit Over His Federal Vaccine Mandate


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