Indiana to file multiple lawsuits in fight over federal vaccine mandate

Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — Indiana will sue the Biden administration over its federal vaccine mandate, calling it government overreach.

Attorney General Todd Rokita announced Thursday plans to file at least three lawsuits – including one with Louisiana and Mississippi – to challenge the vaccine mandate. The state attorney general said he plans to sue lawsuits challenging:

  • the vaccine mandate for federal contractors,
  • OSHA’s rule forcing all employers with 100 or more workers to require all employees to be vaccinated or provide negative COVID-19 tests weekly,
  • and a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule requiring vaccination of all health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and/or Medicaid.

“We are suing the president because he’s got to stop running roughshod over Americans’ liberties,” Rokita said. “It is regrettable that we must take him to court to make him uphold his oath, but it’s necessary to protect our state institutions and fellow citizens from his unlawful schemes.”

It was September when President Joe Biden announced a vaccination mandate that would make employers with 100 or more workers require coronavirus vaccinations or institute weekly virus testing. This week then, the federal government put a Jan. 4 deadline in place for millions of U.S. workers to get a COVID vaccine or face testing.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will assist companies with vaccination plans – and will handle enforcement. Companies could face fines for non-compliance.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said after the vaccine mandate was announced in September that he was prepared to sue the Biden Administration.

On Thursday, he said he was ready to make good on that promise.

Earlier Thursday, Gov. Eric Holcomb directed the state Department of Labor and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office to work on a legal challenge to the vaccine mandate. In a statement, Holcomb said while he agrees that vaccines are the best way to protect against COVID-19, forcing employers to require it would have negative consequence.

“I direct the Indiana Department of Labor to work with the Attorney General on a lawsuit challenging the federal government regarding the OSHA ETS,” Holcomb said. “This is an overreach of the government’s role in serving and protecting Hoosiers. While I agree that the vaccine is the tool that will best protect against COVID-19, this federal government approach is unprecedented and will bring about harmful, unintended consequences in the supply chain and the workforce.”

Rokita’s office said it had been working on the legal challenge for weeks and was not planning to file the lawsuits in response to Holcomb’s direction.

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