- The Washington Times - Friday, October 15, 2021

Republican attorneys general are advising their state residents that President Biden’s federal mandate for coronavirus vaccinations is not yet in effect — but once it does become reality, they’ll challenge it in the courts.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, a Republican, said Thursday the Biden administration has just recently submitted the text of its emergency vaccine rule for review to the Office of Management and Budget, so as of now, no regulation is in effect.

“Further, my office is preparing to immediately challenge and enjoin this federal overreach on a variety of grounds when the Biden administration issues its announced rule,” he said.

The guidance comes after President Biden gave a speech last month saying he would require private employers to mandate that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s part of the president’s push to get more Americans vaccinated.

Mr. Knudsen is not alone in his guidance to Montanans.

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor also announced Thursday that there’s no federal rule requiring employers in his state to require their workers to get COVID-19 shots.

“I urge Oklahoma employers to disregard the Biden Administration’s wishes to the contrary,” said Mr. O’Connor, a Republican. “In the event federal emergency rules are issued that place such an unlawful demand upon employers, our office will be joined by other state Attorneys General across the country to quickly sue and seek an injunction against any implementation or enforcement.”

He said his residents should have a right to make their own health decisions.

“Employers that are mandating vaccines are unfortunately doing so upon their own initiative. Religious, medical, and personal exemptions should be uniformly approved by those employers at the very least,” Mr. O’Connor added. 

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, also a Republican, already has a lawsuit against Mr. Biden‘s vaccine requirement pending in court. He argues it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution because it treats American workers differently than the illegal migrants crossing the southern border, saying the migrants are able to decline the shot.

“The Biden Administration is once again flouting our laws and precedents to push their radical agenda,” Mr. Brnovich said last month.

“There can be no serious or scientific discussion about containing the spread of COVID-19 that doesn’t begin at our southern border.”

More than 57% of Americans are fully vaccinated, according to recent data. 

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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