Attorney General O’Connor Continues Fight Against President Biden’s Unlawful Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors
Beverly Cantrell - February 16, 2022 9:28 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Continuing to fight to protect Oklahoman workers’ rights, Attorney General John O’Connor is joining an effort led by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody against President Biden’s federal contractor vaccine mandate. Attorney General O’Connor joined 17 other state attorneys general in signing on to an amicus brief supporting the state of Georgia’s suit seeking an immediate end to the president’s unlawful mandate.
“President Biden lacks the authority to force Oklahomans to give up their rights and freedoms to the federal government,” Attorney General O’Connor said. “I will continue to challenge this administration’s reckless and unconstitutional mandates.”
Florida Attorney General Moody filed the amicus brief in support of the state of Georgia’s multistate suit against the federal government in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
The amicus brief filed highlights the fact that President Biden’s executive order mandating vaccines for federal contractors represents an unauthorized exercise of regulatory power—the President’s authority in this case is limited to “prescribing policies and directives,” he may not issue procurement regulations. In his executive order, President Biden unlawfully delegated authority to the director of the Office of Management and Budget and a White House Task Force—away from the entity created by Congress to establish such procurement regulations.
In addition, the brief argues that the president failed to show that the mandate promotes economy and efficiency. The brief states: “Neither the Executive Order nor any subsequent agency actions ‘identify any instance in which absenteeism attributable to COVID-19 among contractor employees resulted in delayed procurement or increased costs’…Moreover, a vague interest in preventing ‘absenteeism’ in federal contractors in and of itself is not sufficiently related to the government’s general procurement policies to justify such a ‘sweeping, invasive, and unprecedented public health requirement imposed unilaterally by President Biden.” Finally, the brief argues that: “…the challenged actions seek to regulate public health, not improve the efficiency of contracting, rendering the actions blatantly pretextual.” Due to Oklahoma and other plaintiff states facing millions of dollars in lost contracts, a preliminary injunction is necessary to prevent irreparable injury.
In addition to Attorney General O’Connor, the attorneys general from the following states signed-on to the amicus brief filed today: Florida, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas