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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt files multistate lawsuit against federal vaccine mandate

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Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR 89.3
The lawsuit challenging the vaccine mandate argues that it is “unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.”

The complaint is one of many Schmitt has joined or filed against the Biden administration.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and nine other state attorneys general filed a lawsuit on Friday challenging the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate.

In September, President Biden announced that federal workers and contractors will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 22.

The lawsuit calls the federal requirement “unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.” The attorneys general also argue the mandate will cost their states jobs.

“If the federal government attempts to unconstitutionally exert its will and force federal contractors to mandate vaccinations, the workforce and businesses could be decimated, further exacerbating the supply chain and workforce crises,” Schmitt said in a news release. “The federal government should not be mandating vaccinations, and that’s why we filed suit today — to halt this illegal, unconstitutional action.”

The 12-count lawsuit also alleges the executive order violates the Procurement Policy Act, the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine and the Administrative Procedures Act.

Joining the coalition co-led by Missouri and Nebraska were the attorneys general of Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson issued an executive order on Thursday prohibiting state agencies from enforcing the mandate against any individual with religious or medical objections. The president’s executive order already allows for those same exemptions.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced yesterday that Florida likewise is suing over the Biden administration's vaccine mandate.

Schmitt, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate being vacated by Roy Blunt, has also sued the Biden administration over immigration policy, construction of the border wall, environmental regulations and asylum policy.

In addition, he has joined lawsuits filed by other attorneys general that challenge federal funding of abortion; a Department of Justice memorandum decrying threats of violence against school administrators and school board members; an IRS bank account reporting rule; and a proposed fee on methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities.

More than ever, education lies at the intersection of equity, housing, funding, and other diverse issues facing Kansas City’s students, families and teachers. As KCUR’s education reporter, I’ll break down the policies driving these issues in schools and report what’s happening in our region's classrooms. You can reach me at jodifortino@kcur.org.
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