SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah is joining a 24-state coalition threatening President Joe Biden with a lawsuit in response to his vaccine mandate for private-sector employees.
President Biden announced a six-pronged plan to combat the spread of the delta COVID-19 variant. Under the plan, businesses with more than 100 employees must mandate vaccines or regular testing. Workers in healthcare and education that receive federal funds must be vaccinated, as well as all federal employees and contractors.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is on the leadership team among the coalition of attorneys general. He says the group has outlined their legal and policy concerns with the mandate which is set to be carried out through an Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA, emergency temporary standard.
“I am committed to continuing leading with my colleagues to push back and fight this mandate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary,” says Attorney General Reyes. “Both employers and employees in Utah, with unprecedented fervor, have flooded my office with messages of dire concern and extreme opposition to the proposed mandate. I firmly agree.”
Reyes and the coalition alleged the proposed mandates are offensive, saying they “violate constitutional separation of powers, reasonable notions of federalism and vastly expand the invasive reach of federal agencies under the guise of ’emergency powers.'”
“We call on President Biden to withdraw his proposed standards. Forcing them on the business community will be disastrous from a legal, policy, and financial standpoint and it will further divide America,” says Attorney General Reyes.
Utah was joined on the letter by the attorneys general of 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, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The Salt Lake Chamber provided ABC4 a statement, which reads in part:
“As a business association the Chamber is always concerned about government mandates that reach into employers’ operations and employees’ private lives. We are also concerned about issues of legal uncertainty, employer liability, employees potentially leaving an already constrained workforce, and the risk of deepening political divisiveness surrounding vaccination.”