SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Elected officials in Utah have joined a multi-state lawsuit opposing a federal vaccine mandate for employees on Saturday.
Specifically, this lawsuit opposes a vaccine mandate for federal contractor employees. Utah joins six other states in filing the lawsuit including Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
President Biden first announced a vaccine mandate for federal workers and contractors on September 9, with hopes to curb the surging COVID-19 variants killing thousands every week throughout the country. Since that announcement, Republican states and lawmakers have pushed back against the mandate, citing unconstitutional overreach and the belief that it violates federal law.
Governor Spencer Cox, along with other Republican elected officials joined the lawsuit on Saturday including Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, Senate President J. Stuart Adams, House Speaker Brad Wilson, State Auditor John Dougall, and State Treasurer Marlo M. Oaks.
This announcement follows a lawsuit filed on Friday that includes 19 other states suing President Biden for the same issue.
“President Biden continues to push his policies through unconstitutional means,” a press release on behalf of the plaintiffs say. “Employees of federal contractors make up one-fifth of the total U.S. workforce.”
In the court documents, the plaintiffs claim the vaccine mandate is, “astonishing — not only for its tremendous breadth and unworkably short deadline, but also because so little care has been given to how it will work in the real world. For state agencies that work on federal contracts, this situation is untenable. This mandate puts billions of contracting dollars in peril, including huge portions of some state agencies’ budgets.”
Throughout the pandemic, Utah representatives on both federal and local levels have struggled with opposing viewpoints on both mask and vaccine mandates.
“We must take a stand for hardworking Utahns who are being forced to either get the vaccine or lose their jobs,” Utah Republican lawmakers said in a joint statement. “The president is making a habit out of reaching beyond the limits of his authority. In doing so, he is unnecessarily exacerbating stress on the supply chain, damaging the economy, forcing workers to leave jobs and hurting American families. We cannot stand idly by and allow President Biden and his administration to impose yet another reckless and illegal executive action.”
Attorney General Sean Reyes released a statement on Twitter regarding the lawsuit:
To see the full court document, click here.