Rutledge Urges President Biden Drop Vaccine Mandate or Risk Legal Action
Says, ‘I will not hesitate to take action against this latest power grab just as I have with President Biden’s other overreaching executive orders’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge sent a letter to President Biden today, with 23 of her fellow attorneys general, warning that litigation will follow the implementation of the proposed mandate on private-sector employees to either get a COVID-19 shot, submit to weekly testing, or be fired. The coalition outlined their legal and policy concerns with the mandate, which will be through an Occupational Safety and Health Act emergency temporary standard.
“President Biden’s bungled response to the pandemic continues to intrude on the liberties of Arkansans and only further divide our great country,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will not hesitate to take action against this latest power grab just as I have with President Biden’s other overreaching executive orders, on topics like greenhouse gases, the Keystone Pipeline and the prohibition on offshore drilling and federal lands permits. I want the President to know, we will see him in court if he goes forward with the vaccine mandate.”
History has shown that the judicial branch is highly skeptical of the use of Occupational Safety and Health Act emergency temporary standards because of concerns about federalism and the separation of powers. Further, the coalition’s letter raises concerns about the expansion of a federal regulatory agency and public perception of the order’s constitutionality.
The coalition’s letter also address practical policy considerations. Most concerning is the potential to drive individuals out of the workforce, particularly healthcare workers, who are most needed right now to fight the pandemic. Additionally, this mandate ignores the tens of millions of Americans with natural immunity and will drive further skepticism of vaccines.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, the letter recognizes there are alternatives to a broad, nationwide order. The letter states, “The risks of COVID-19 spread also vary widely depending on the nature of the business in question, many of which can have their employees, for example, work remotely. The one-size-fits-almost-all approach you have decreed makes clear that you intend to use the OSHA statute as a pretext to impose an unprecedented, controversial public health measure on a nationwide basis that only incidentally concerns the workplace.”
Attorney General Rutledge was joined on the letter by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, 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.