Oklahoma sues over Nationwide Guard vaccine requirement

Oklahoma is suing the Biden administration over its federal coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers and the Nationwide Guard, the state’s Republican lawyer normal introduced Thursday. 

“Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate ensures that many Oklahoma Nationwide Guard members will merely give up as an alternative of getting a vaccine, a scenario that may irreparably hurt Oklahomans’ security and safety,” Lawyer Basic John O’Connor mentioned in a press release. “These patriots, together with many federal workers, who serve their nation and their state are actually liable to being terminated as a result of they don’t want to take the vaccine.”

The state of Oklahoma is asking the courtroom to cease the enforcement of the requirement and to forestall the federal authorities from withholding funding from the Oklahoma Nationwide Guard over guard members’ vaccination standing. Sixteen Oklahoma Air Nationwide Guard members who do not need to get vaccinated are additionally plaintiffs. 

Legal professionals for Oklahoma argue that the mandate violates non secular liberty and due course of and units an “unconstitutional situation” for federal workers to maintain their jobs. It additionally claims the federal authorities is stifling Oklahoma’s state rights. 

“The federal authorities is making an attempt to disarm the state of Oklahoma from defending itself, its territory and its residents,” the grievance claims. 

It additionally takes goal at President Biden on a private degree, accusing him of being “now not in a position or prepared to masks his disdain for unvaccinated Individuals” when he admitted that his endurance with them was “carrying skinny” in a latest speech. 

The swimsuit comes on the heels of Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin’s rejection of Oklahoma’s request for an exemption from the vaccine requirement for guard members. Austin, in a letter to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, mentioned, “To take care of a wholesome and prepared navy pressure able to defending the American individuals, the fast vaccination in opposition to COVID-19 is a necessary navy readiness requirement for all parts and items of the navy, together with the Oklahoma Nationwide Guard.” 

Oklahoma is one among a rising variety of GOP-led states suing the Biden administration over federal vaccine necessities. Different states are suing the administration over vaccine necessities for well being care employees, federal workers and workers at corporations with 100 workers or extra. 

The Labor Division’s Occupational Security and Well being Administration has suspended enforcement of recent guidelines ordering giant employers to require vaccinations or common testing after a federal appeals courtroom reaffirmed a brief halt to the requirement’s implementation. 

— CBS Information’ Ellee Watson contributed to this report 

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