Alaska has joined nine other states in a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s mandate requiring all federal contractors to submit to COVID shots.
Under Biden’s plan, a private business would be required to force employees to get the jab before the company could enter into or extend a contract with the federal government. Biden issued the mandate in a Sept. 9 executive order, and contractors have until next month to comply.
“President Biden’s attempt to force vaccinations is, at the root of it, unamerican,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a prepared statement. “These mandates cause division at a time where we need to work together. Forced medical decisions are counterintuitive – destroying America’s sense of fairness and liberty. My administration will continue to fight against these mandates to protect the inherent individual rights of all Alaskans. Medical choice is an individual American freedom.”
The power to impose vaccine mandates, to the extent that any such power exists, is a power reserved to the States, the lawsuit argues.
The lawsuit maintains that the contractor rule is ambiguous and inconsistent with other regulations and existing laws. In particular there is confusion about whether businesses with existing federal contracts are subject to the mandate, and how broadly the mandate would be applied across various companies. Most importantly, however, the lawsuit argues that Biden overstepped his legal authority in issuing the order.
“Our laws prohibit this type of action, which is overreaching and inconsistently applied,” said Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor. “This order improperly tries to use the force of law to punish federal contractors for decisions that should be left to them and their employees. Fortunately, federal and state law prohibits these bully tactics.”
The lawsuit states that the vaccine mandate is unconstitutional, arguing, that no part of the U.S. Constitution or any act of Congress authorizes the federal government to implement such a burdensome vaccine mandate across the nation.
“The power to impose vaccine mandates, to the extent that any such power exists, is a power reserved to the States,” the lawsuit argues.
Additionally, it states that federal agencies are “arbitrarily applying the mandate” to their vendors, leaving further questions as to its legality.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
On the scope of the federal contractor vaccine mandate, the lawsuit notes that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, “workers employed by federal contractors” comprise roughly one-fifth of the entire U.S. labor force. The lawsuit notes, “On its face, the contractor vaccine mandate therefore applies to any employee of a contractor or subcontractor who is a party to a federal contract, even if the work they do is wholly unrelated to the contract, and even if it is not certain they will ever be working in a location with an employee who is actually working on a federal contract.”
Many contractors say they are unable to have 100% of employees vaccinated by the Dec. 8 deadline. That could further exacerbate growing supply-chain problems across the country.
Other states included in the lawsuit are Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Click here to view the lawsuit.