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Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022

Kemp among state leaders to sue Biden over vaccine mandate

<p>President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a conference in 2019. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, Accessed via Flickr under Creative Commons)</p>

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a conference in 2019. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, Accessed via Flickr under Creative Commons)

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is filing a lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden after the announcement of a planned vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

Kemp is part of a collective group containing leaders from another six states that include Alabama, South Carolina and Kansas.

Kemp has collaborated in large part with Attorney General Chris Carr, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents in order to file the lawsuit.

According to NPR, the proposed deadline for businesses with over 100 employees is Jan. 4. Companies are required to have all their staff to be fully vaccinated or to test negative once a week. This deadline also affects Mercer, which announced in late September that all employees, including student employees, must be vaccinated by the end of the semester.

Read more: All Mercer employees required to be vaccinated due to Biden mandate

Kemp told The Current, a coastal-Georgia-based news organization, that the mandate is an "unlawful and unconstitutional overreach."

"Polling shows 70 percent of unvaccinated Americans say they would quit their jobs if their company required the COVID-19 vaccine," he said.

Kemp also commented on the impact the mandate may have on Georgia's workforce.

“From an employer’s perspective, 9 in 10 fear significant reductions in their workforce if they had to implement vaccine mandates," he said. “We will not allow the Biden Administration to circumvent the law or force hardworking Georgians to choose between their livelihood or this vaccine.”

It is not just in Georgia that the mandate has received backlash. Louisiana has had its fair share of opposition against the proposition.

As reported by Reuters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for New Orleans has upheld a hold against the Biden mandate, which would include companies with 100 or more workers. The three-man panel on the 5th U.S Circuit Court responsible for the decision said that the mandate "is staggeringly overbroad." Circuit Court Judge Kurt Engelhardt also had comments on the mandate.

"The mandate is a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces," Engelhardt wrote. "The public interest is also served by maintaining our constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions — even, or perhaps particularly, when those decisions frustrate government officials.”

Both Kemp's lawsuit and the New Orleans decision foreshadow further resistance to the mandate, especially among states with Republican leaders.


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