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Tennessee AG sues over federal vaccine mandate for contractors

Herbert Slatery
Posted at 12:56 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 17:37:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Attorney General filed a lawsuit Thursday to challenge a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for contractors.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, asserts that President Joe Biden's administration’s mandatory vaccination requirement is unlawful and unconstitutional. Slatery is joined by the attorneys general of Ohio and Kentucky,

"Unless we intervene, federal contractors in Tennessee will be forced to make sense of the mandate’s many inconsistencies that require their entire workforce be vaccinated or face potential blacklisting and loss of future federal contracts," Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery said. "That is simply unworkable and this lawsuit seeks to stop it."

The coalition of attorneys general argued that the potential workforce loss among federal contractors presented a significant concern for the economies of their states and could exacerbate ongoing supply chain issues, according to the suit.

Additionally, the attorneys general further argued that the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate "violates state sovereignty by preventing the states from exercising their police power to establish laws regarding workforce vaccination policies."

“The imposed mandates are unconstitutional because Congress did not articulate a clear principle by legislative act that directs the Executive to take sweeping action that infringes on state and individual rights," the coalition wrote in the suit.

Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton said he and other Republican members were "happy" the suit was filed in federal court. He said he and his colleagues tried to create legislation in the COVID-19 special session that would prevent the federal government from overstepping its boundaries.

"The interesting thing is this is the first any president in the United States has ever required a mass vaccination," Sexton said. "I think that hasn't gone unnoticed. Everyone can argue their case. We will see what happens when we get to court. We feel comfortable with what we passed and we feel comfortable pushing back on what OSHA regulations are trying to do. We will see what it looks like come next year."

To read the complaint, click here: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/attorneygeneral/documents/pr/2021/pr21-42-complaint.pdf [tn.gov]