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Ga., S.C. go to court against latest federal vaccination mandate

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 11:22 AM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has filed his second lawsuit in a week challenging a Biden administration COVID vaccine mandate.

Kemp said Friday the latest lawsuit fights a new rule calling for employers of more than 100 people to require employee vaccinations or else test for COVID every few days.

“In addition to vilifying Americans for their personal choices, Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates are unlawful and a recipe for economic disaster,” Kemp said. “With inflation skyrocketing, the supply chain screeching to a halt, and job creators across the country desperately searching for more workers, Biden is pouring gasoline on a fire.”

Meanwhile South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined the attorneys general of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Utah, along with six businesses, in filing a petition for review of the mandate with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

And South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott says he’s joining 41 other senators in trying to nullify the mandate that he called a “Washington power-grab.” The senators plan to use the Congressional Review Act to nullify the mandate.

“President Biden is placing an undue burden on business and workers who have already faced so many difficulties throughout the pandemic,” said Scott. “Forcing a federal mandate on Americans will only decrease trust in our nation’s vaccines and harm small businesses just as they are getting back on their feet.”

The Georgia lawsuit asserts the mandate:

  • Exceeds the Department of Labor’s statutory authority.
  • Fails to comply with the standards for issuing an emergency order.
  • Conflicts with the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Georgia has joined the states of Florida and Alabama, along with several private employers, in filing the lawsuit with the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. Private employers that are also parties in the action, include the Georgia Highway Contractors Association, the Georgia Motor Trucking Association and Robinson Paving Co.

Last Friday, Kemp and state Attorney General Carr filed a federal lawsuit in Augusta against Biden’s unlawful and vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

Augusta University played a prominent role in that lawsuit, being used as an example of one of the state institutions that stand to lose out on millions in federal contracts if they don’t get all their employees fully vaccinated by the Dec. 8 deadline.

The mandate requires not only employees working on federal contracts to be vaccinated but also for anyone who might come in contact with them to be vaccinated.

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