By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all health care workers.
This is the third lawsuit brought by the state of Alabama in recent weeks challenging federal vaccine mandates. Marshall cited concerns over the state’s available workforce since, unlike the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s mandate for large employers, the mandate for health care workers does not allow for weekly testing in lieu of vaccination.
“One can only imagine the damage that will be done by this mandate to already short-staffed rural and community hospitals, clinics and nursing homes that receive federal funds for Medicare and Medicaid services,” Marshall said in a press release.
Monday’s lawsuit seeks to block the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services vaccine mandate President Joe Biden announced on Nov. 4.
Marshall has already filed lawsuits against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal-contract workers and for employers with 100 or more employees.
Marshall said in a release that the mandate is an overreach of the federal government’s authority and has “severe legal deficiencies.”
“This is about so much more than vaccines. It’s about planting a flag to say that ‘enough is enough,’” Marshall said. “The federal government’s power is not boundless, but if we are not vigilant to fight here and now, there will be no going back.”
Alabama joins Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia in bringing the lawsuit.
Vaccine mandates have already been the subject of litigation. The Supreme Court has rejected an emergency appeal from health care workers in Maine to block a vaccine mandate.
A federal court on Friday also declined to lift a stay on the mandate for businesses with 100 or more workers.
The Alabama Legislature also took action against Biden’s vaccine mandates earlier this month when it passed two bills aiming to make it easier for workers to opt-out of the mandates and prohibit minors from getting the COVID-19 vaccine without parental consent