Attorney General Alan Wilson joins 20 states in legal action against President Biden’s unlawful vaccine mandate for federal contractors

March 13, 2022

In an effort to protect South Carolina workers’ rights, Attorney General Alan Wilson is joining an effort against President Joe Biden’s federal contractor vaccine mandate. Attorney General Wilson joined 20 other state attorneys general in signing on to an amicus brief supporting the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s suit seeking an immediate end to the president’s unlawful mandate that requires federal contractors to ensure all employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine. There are many South Carolina companies that will be negatively impacted by the unlawful requirements.

Attorney General Wilson said, “The powers of the states-protected by the Constitution- cannot be wiped away by the President’s seizure of power. This is about upholding the Constitution and the rule of law. No president has the authority to do what President Biden is trying to do here. He’s not a king.”

The amicus brief is in support of Kentucky’s multistate suit against the federal government in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The amicus brief argues that the challenged vaccination requirements improperly intrude on states’ traditional powers.

The filed amicus brief highlights the fact that President Biden’s executive order mandating vaccines for federal contractors represents an unauthorized exercise of regulatory power. The president’s authority in this case is limited to “prescribing policies and directives,”—he may not issue procurement regulations. In the executive order, President Biden unlawfully delegated authority to the director of the Office of Management and Budget and a White House Task Force, away from the entity created by Congress to establish such procurement regulations.

In addition, the brief argues that the president failed to show that the mandate promotes economy and efficiency. The brief states: “Neither the Executive Order nor any subsequent agency actions ‘identify any instance in which absenteeism attributable to COVID-19 among contractor employees resulted in delayed procurement or increased costs’…Moreover, a vague interest in preventing ‘absenteeism’ in federal contractors in and of itself is not sufficiently related to the government’s general procurement policies to justify such a ‘sweeping, invasive, and unprecedented public health requirement imposed unilaterally by President Biden.’”

Finally, the brief argues: “…the challenged actions seek to regulate public health, not improve the efficiency of contracting, rendering the actions blatantly pretextual.”

To read the full brief, click here.

In addition to Attorney General Wilson, the attorneys general from the following states signed on to the amicus brief: Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.