TOPEKA – (October 30, 2021) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has sued federal officials including President Biden, seeking to invalidate the new federal mandate that contractors doing business with the federal government require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The federal contractor mandate, announced by the president on Sept. 9 and initially implemented Sept. 30, purports to require all federal contractors to employ only vaccinated employees or risk losing future federal contracts. This risk has coerced several major Kansas employers that rely on federal contracts, such as research universities and defense contractors, to threaten their unvaccinated employees with discipline potentially including termination.
"No Americans should be threatened by their federal government with losing their jobs because their health care decisions differ from those preferred by the president of the United States," Schmidt said. "Nothing in the U.S. Constitution authorizes this sort of unprecedented intrusion by the federal government into the personal health care decisions of millions of American workers, and in our view the president certainly does not possess power to decree it on his own."
The lawsuit filed late yesterday asks the court to declare the federal contractor mandate illegal and to block its implementation. The suit was filed by seven states, including Kansas.
Earlier this week, Schmidt joined 20 other attorneys general in a letter to the president raising legal and practical concerns about the federal contractor mandate and asking him to withdraw it. Yesterday's lawsuit follows through on those concerns.
"The pandemic has been and remains a public health crisis that has taken a terrible human toll on so many Kansans," said Schmidt, who noted he continues to encourage Kansans to be vaccinated but believes strongly that is a health care decision to be made by each individual and not mandated by the federal government. "At the same time, this is still America where concepts like rule of law, limited government, freedom and liberty still have cherished meaning and remain worth respecting and, when necessary, defending even during a pandemic."
The lawsuit filed yesterday is Georgia et. al. v Biden et. al. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Augusta Division. A copy is available at https://bit.ly/3nKICQE.