Today, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson co-led a ten state coalition in filing a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees. The lawsuit takes issue with the Biden Administration’s use of federal procurement statutes to mandate vaccinations through Executive Order 14042.
“Today, I led a ten state coalition in filing a lawsuit to halt the Biden Administration’s unlawful, unconstitutional vaccine mandate for federal contractors. 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. “According to the U.S. Department of Labor, workers who are employed by a federal contractor make up one-fifth of the entire labor market. 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. The federal government should not be mandating vaccinations, and that’s why we filed suit today – to halt this illegal, unconstitutional action.”
The lawsuit argues that the September 9, 2021 executive order enacted by the Biden Administration requiring federal contractors to be vaccinated violates the Procurement Act, 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. The lawsuit incorporates twelve counts.
Speaking about how the vaccine mandate violates the Procurement Act, the lawsuit states, “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’.”
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.”
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. Neither Article II of the U.S. Constitution nor any act of Congress authorizes defendants to implement their vaccine mandate. The power to impose vaccine mandates, to the extent that any such power exists, is a power reserved to the States.”
The lawsuit asks the court to declare the vaccine mandate unlawful and enjoin defendants from enforcing the vaccine mandate.
The full lawsuit can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/show_temp-pl.pdf?sfvrsn=950657f1_2
Joining Missouri and Nebraska in the lawsuit are attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.