Ohio attorney general files lawsuit as nationwide vax mandate goes into effect


Vaccine (Photos by Tang Ming Tung/DigitalVision/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – As the nationwide Covid vaccination mandate goes into effect for businesses with over 100 workers, Ohio Attorney General David Yost is filing a lawsuit fighting the measure.

Yost’s lawsuit targets federal contractors. He says the mandate for those workers would result in the release of “dangerous ICE detainees” being held in jails across Ohio.

The suit, filed together with Geauga County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz and Sheriff Scott A. Hildenbrand, Seneca County Sheriff Fredrick W. Stevens and the attorneys general of Kentucky and Tennessee, challenges the Biden administration’s authority to mandate COVID-19 vaccines.

“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.”

In addition to sheriff’s offices, other federal contracts are held by defense, higher education, medical and shipping industries, and the state of Ohio.

Nationwide, the Department of Labor reports, federal contractors account for about a fifth of the labor force. The coalition of attorneys general filing the lawsuit says the potential workforce loss poses a significant threat to state economies, as it could exacerbate ongoing gaps in the supply chain.

Yost said the vaccine mandate is unconstitutional because the enforcement by police falls under the state’s authority, not the federal government and that Congress did not give the president authority to issue the “broad mandate.”

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce issued a statement Wednesday in regards to the mandate saying it is an infringement:

Today’s announcement from the Biden Administration is a significant infringement on the ability of Ohio employers to set their own workplace policies. Ohio businesses know best how to protect the health and safety of their employees, customers and patients and should not be subject to the heavy hand of government dictating a one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 vaccines and testing.

Ohio Chamber of Commerce

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