Oklahoma Leaders Weigh in on SCOTUS Blocking COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Mandate for Businesses
Beverly Cantrell - January 13, 2022 7:35 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY —
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to stop the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.
The high court also ruled to allow the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.
Oklahoma lawmakers released statements, weighing in on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. Scroll down to read some of their comments.
Gov. Kevin Stitt
“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down President Biden’s unlawful vaccine mandates for businesses is an important victory for the individual freedom of Oklahomans and every citizen of this great nation. I applaud Attorney General John O’Connor who has been tirelessly fighting back against the Biden administration’s dangerous federal overreach. I am also grateful to my Republican colleagues in the Legislature who have been allies in this fight. Our alignment is critical, and I am grateful for their efforts.
“From the beginning, I have maintained that the vaccine should be a personal choice. While I am pleased with the Court’s decision regarding businesses, I am disappointed in its decision to even temporarily uphold the CMS vaccine mandate. No American should lose their job over a vaccine, especially our brave health care workers who have been on the front lines of this pandemic. Today’s ruling will not only affect them, but it will also hurt our hospitals’ ability to care for patients during a nationwide staffing shortage. Nevertheless, my administration will continue to stand up for individual freedom for all Oklahomans.”
Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor
“The State of Oklahoma is pleased the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the states challenging the OSHA vaccine mandate on private businesses. Now, individuals who work in the private sector can make healthcare decisions for themselves and their families – as it should be. This is a major win for job creators and their employees.
“However, we are disappointed with the Court’s decision to allow the enforcement of the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. The State of Oklahoma is already suffering from healthcare staffing shortages and the CMS vaccine mandate will only make matters worse, especially in rural Oklahoma. Not only does the CMS mandate threaten the healthcare interests of countless Americans, but it also puts state funding at risk. My office will continue to fight for the rights of Oklahomans and defend the rule of law against the Biden Administration’s heavy-handed tactics.”
Sen. James Lankford
“This is a big day for every Oklahoman and American who has lived in fear of having to choose between their health decisions or keeping their job. Today’s ruling states what every Oklahoman has known for months—President Biden does not have the authority to reach into every private business to say who should be hired and who should be fired. We are the United States of America. We do still believe in individual freedom, and today, the Supreme Court affirmed that constitutional right for every American.”
Oklahoma State Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat
“Although vaccines are safe and effective, the decision to get a vaccine should remain up to individuals to decide. The Supreme Court was right to reject the Biden administration’s vaccine and testing mandate for large businesses. It clearly was a case of federal overreach. After this court win, I am more confident that the decision the state Senate made to put $10 million in funding toward the Attorney General’s Office was the right move to fight federal overreach. We remain committed to resourcing the Attorney General’s Office to defend the rights of Oklahomans.”