Two dozen Republican attorneys general warned in a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday that if the White House's plan to mandate vaccinations for 100 million Americans is implemented, they would pursue legal action.
Republican Attorneys General Opposed Biden's Vaccine Mandate
In a recently published article in Newsweek, Republican prosecutors criticized Biden for his proposed legislation, which would impose a government vaccination mandate on private-sector employees, health-care workers, and federal contractors.
The vaccine mandate, announced earlier this month, is being implemented via an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation as part of an attempt to protect Americans against the more lethal delta variant that accumulates the biggest percentage of the latest COVID-19 cases in the country.
Attorneys General in 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, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming all signed the letter, according to a report published in MSN News.
Letter of the Attorneys General
The prosecutors, led by Attorney General Alan Wilson of South Carolina, wrote in a letter sent to Biden, "Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive. If your Administration does not alter its course, the undersigned state Attorneys General will seek every available legal option to hold you accountable and uphold the rule of law," according to a report published in the Daily Advent.
The OSHA regulation, which covers almost two-thirds of the private sector workers, would be in effect for six months before being replaced with a permanent measure. Employers that fail to comply may face fines of up to $13,600 per infraction.
Meanwhile, according to a primer by the law firm Fisher Phillips, the rule will go into effect in the 29 states where OSHA has jurisdiction once it is published. Other states with federally approved workplace safety agencies, such as California and North Carolina, would have up to 30 days to implement equivalent measures.
Other Republicans and Union Chiefs Criticized Biden's Vaccine Mandate
Republican leaders, as well as some labor groups, have warned that Biden was going too far in his efforts to wrest control of private businesses and employees. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster was among the first to voice out, saying on Twitter that his state will battle to the gates of hell to defend the rights and livelihood of every South Carolinian.
In a recently published article in Houston Chronicle, Wilson cautioned Biden in a letter that the vaccine "edict is likewise unlawful," noting that courts have sustained just one of ten emergency temporary OSHA regulations in recent decades. The prosecutors also warned that the "edict is unlikely to win hearts and minds-it would only increase cynicism" about vaccinations.
They also wrote in their letter that the vaccination requirement is not just a danger to individual liberty but also a public health catastrophe, displacing vulnerable employees and exacerbating a national hospital staffing shortage, with serious implications for all Americans.
Instead of requiring vaccines or weekly testing, the prosecutors suggested that certain businesses allow workers to work remotely rather than reporting in person.