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Republican AGs: Biden's vax mandate impacting 80 million is not enforceable

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by WorldTribune Staff, October 22, 2021

Several Republican state attorney generals stated that Joe Biden's executive order requiring private employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine has not yet gone into effect and therefore is not enforceable.

"No such rule or regulation is currently in effect," Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wrote in an open letter to all Montanans, and "there has been a great deal of confusion" since Biden announced on Sept. 9 the vaccine mandate for all companies with 100 or more employees.

It wasn't until last week that the Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) submitted the initial text of the mandate's regulatory language to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The initial text is the first of several steps in the regulatory process, meaning the mandate is not in effect.

OSHA is tasked with implementing, overseeing and enforcing the Biden mandate, which it has yet to do. It plans to do so under an obscure authority known as "emergency temporary standards" that has been used only a handful of times, Just the News noted in an Oct. 21 report.

Biden's order would impact at least 80 million Americans who work at a company that has more than 100 employees. The order would require them to provide proof of receiving two doses of the Covid shots to remain employed, or be tested for Covid-19 once a week.

"The bottom line: We're going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers," Biden said at a press briefing, tacitly conceding that the vaccine doesn't provide full protection.

If and when the regulation does go into effect, the attorney generals said they will immediately sue to stop it.

Knudsen says his office is "preparing to immediately challenge and enjoin this federal overreach on a variety of grounds when the Biden administration issues its announced rule."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the mandate is unconstitutional, and in response Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued his own mandate prohibiting all entities in Texas from issuing vaccine mandates as a condition of employment.

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor announced that no federal rule mandating employers to require their workers to get the shots exists. He's instructed employers — and Oklahomans — to ignore Biden's order.

"I urge Oklahoma employers to disregard the Biden Administration's wishes to the contrary," O'Connor said in a statement. "In the event federal emergency rules are issued that place such an unlawful demand upon employers, our office will be joined by other state Attorneys General across the country to quickly sue and seek an injunction against any implementation or enforcement."

Oklahomans, he argues, have the right to make their own health decisions, including whether or not they get the Covid shots.

"Employers that are mandating vaccines are unfortunately doing so upon their own initiative," he said. "Religious, medical, and personal exemptions should be uniformly approved by those employers at the very least."

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has already sued the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate, arguing it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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