DeSantis takes aim at Biden vaccine mandates, says Florida will mount legal challenge

President Joe Biden has made implementing coronavirus vaccine mandates a key part of his presidency. But his agenda encountered a major obstacle this week in the form of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

According to Fox News, DeSantis announced during a press conference on Thursday that his state would join with Georgia, Alabama, and a group of private plaintiffs in suing the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over its requirement that all companies with over 100 employees ensure their workers are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

“This is not consistent with a government of limited and enumerated powers,” DeSantis said of the mandate, according to Fox News. “There is no general police power, there is no power to mandate on the American people from the federal government.”

“Individuals should make informed choices about their own health care,” the Florida governor added. “They shouldn’t be coerced into getting the jab.”

“Only the beginning”

According to Fox, DeSantis also warned that allowing the COVID-related mandates to stand would set a bad precedent.

“As far-reaching as this is, this is only the beginning for what they’re contemplating doing going forward,” the governor said.

He’s not alone in challenging the Biden administration’s mandates; Fox News reported separately last week that a group of Republican-led states, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, had filed suit challenging the requirement that all federal contractors ensure their employees are vaccinated.

“Far from increasing economy and efficiency in procurement, the contractor vaccine mandate will have deleterious effects on economy and inefficiency by causing the large-scale resignations of unvaccinated employees of federal contractors,” the lawsuit claims.

“Defendants, through their vaccine mandate, have exercised power far beyond what was delegated to the federal government by constitutional mandate or congressional action,” it adds. “Neither Article II of the U.S. Constitution nor any act of Congress authorizes defendants to implement their vaccine mandate. The power to impose vaccine mandates, to the extent that any such power exists, is a power reserved to the States.”

“Absurd federal overreach”

In a statement, Schmitt said he and his fellow plaintiffs are committed to “fighting back against this absurd federal overreach.”

“According to the U.S. Department of Labor, workers who are employed by a federal contractor make up one-fifth of the entire labor market,” the AG told Fox.

“If the federal government attempts to unconstitutionally exert its will and force federal contractors to mandate vaccinations,” he warned, “the workforce and businesses could be decimated, further exacerbating the supply chain and workforce crises.”

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