Ohio AG files lawsuit to stop vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 10:46 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - Seneca County Sheriff Fredrick W. Stevens is among a group that has filed a lawsuit challenging the vaccine mandate for federal contractors by the Biden administration.

The lawsuit was filed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, along with the attorneys general in Kentucky and Tennessee. Stevens was joined by the prosecutor and sheriff in Geauga County.

According to the lawsuit, the vaccine mandate will ultimately force the release of “dangerous ICE detainees being held at county jails across Ohio.”

“We have sheriffs that are going to lose a lot of talented deputies to this mandate, and they’ll ultimately give up their contracts to house ICE detainees rather than see that happen,” Yost said. “Forcing that kind of choice on people who dedicate their lives to keeping our communities safe creates a needless situation in which everyone loses.”

The coalition of attorneys general said the potential workforce loss poses a “significant threat to state economies, as it could exacerbate ongoing gaps in the supply chain.”

Yost’s press release also said federal contractors are used in the defense, higher education, medical, and shipping industries. The Ohio AG said the mandate is an issue of federal overreach.

“I’ve said it many times: The Biden administration may not do whatever it wants however it wants,” Yost said. “The Constitution lays out critical rules by which the executive branch must operate. Congress and the states have their own powers, which the administration can’t just take over because it wants to.”

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court fo the eastern district Kentucky. The state AGs said the mandate is unconstitutional in part because police power to enforce mandates falls within a state’s authority, not the federal government’s authority, and Congress did not give the president authority to issue such a broad mandate.

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