South Dakota AG and 9 other states file suit to halt federal vaccine mandate

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FILE- In this Feb. 2, 2021 file photo, Tyson Foods team members receive COVID-19 vaccines from health officials at the Wilkesboro, N.C. facility. (Melissa Melvin/AP Images for Tyson Foods File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (FOX2NOW) — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is co-leading a 10-state coalition that includes South Dakota in filing a lawsuit to stop the vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

The lawsuit takes issue with the Biden Administration’s use of federal procurement statutes to mandate vaccinations through Executive Order 14042.

The other states joining Missouri are Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Both South Dakota’s attorney general and governor, who are Republicans, issued statements Friday afternoon about the challenge to the Democrat president.

“Today, I stand with other Attorneys General in fighting back against this absurd federal overreach,” South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg said.  “The U.S. Department of Labor reports that workers employed by a federal contractor make up one-fifth of the entire labor market. This illegal, unconstitutional mandate would harm businesses, the workforce, and the existing supply chain crisis to a degree that would be extremely difficult to repair.”

“South Dakota is standing up with other states to protect our people from the Biden Administration’s illegal mandates,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Though they are delaying their announcement of other mandates because they know those would be unconstitutional, we will not wait to fight this federal contractor mandate. We set up our defense with an executive order earlier this week. Now it’s time to go on offense.”

“My Office has led the nation in taking action to fight back against attempts by petty tyrants to impose their control through mask mandates. Now, we’re leading the nation in fighting back against this absurd federal overreach,” said Attorney General Schmitt.

Schmitt also said if the federal government attempts to unconstitutionality exert its will and force federal contractors to mandate vaccinations, the workforce and businesses could be further decimated. He said that could further exacerbate the supply chain and workforce crises.

Schmitt’s office says the lawsuit incorporates 12 counts. It argues that Biden’s September Executive Order violates the Procurement Act because, “Far from increasing economy and efficiency in procurement, the contractor vaccine mandate will have deleterious effects on economy and inefficiency by causing the large-scale resignations of unvaccinated employees of federal contractors. These disruptive consequences will directly oppose both ‘economy’ and ‘efficiency’.”

The lawsuit also states that the vaccine mandate is unconstitutional, arguing, “Defendants, through their vaccine mandate, have exercised power far beyond what was delegated to the federal government by constitutional mandate or congressional action.”

The suit says it also violates the Procurement Policy Act, is an unlawful usurpation of states’ police powers, violates the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, is a procedural violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, is a substantive violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, is a substantive violation of the APA as an agency action not in accordance with law and in excess of authority, is a substantive violation of the APA as an agency action that is arbitrary and capricious and is in violation of notice-and-comment requirements, violates the separation of powers, violates the Tenth Amendment and federalism, and is an unconstitutional exercise of the spending power.

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