Attorney General Derek Schmidt joins in lawsuit over vaccine mandate

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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt NEW_205775

FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2015, file photo, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt talks to lawmakers at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Schmidt filed a lawsuit Friday, July 22, 2016, in federal court in Kansas against the U.S. Department of Defense to obtain documents related to planning by President Barack Obama’s administration to move […]

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A lawsuit filed today will challenge the new federal vaccine mandate for private employers with more than 100 employees.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined six other state attorneys general in filing a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. The new mandate requires that employees either be vaccinated or receive frequent testing for COVID-19 and applies to all private-sector employers with 100 or more employees across Kansas.

The other attorneys general joining Schmidt come from Kentucky, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

The filings submitted today ask the court to review the legality of the new mandate with the argument that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lacks the statutory and constitutional authority to issue it.

“Nothing in federal law gives OSHA this kind of far-reaching authority,” Schmidt said. “Businesses that do not comply would be subject to steep fines. And to make matters worse, state and federal governments have just announced they will stop paying the cost of testing for businesses, shifting that cost onto businesses themselves.”

The seven attorneys general also plan to file a motion asking the court to stay the mandate pending the outcome of the case.

“The net effect of this overreaching federal mandate is to discourage private businesses from employing unvaccinated workers by making it more costly, once again threatening the livelihood of many Kansas workers and businesses and promising more disruptions to supply chains nationwide,” Schmidt said.

According to a recent press release from Schmidt’s office, the coalition of attorneys general will argue that authority does not extend to risks that are equally prevalent at work and in society at large.

The coalition’s statement points out that each state has “enacted its own laws and policies” that create a balance between public health and the rights of its citizens.

“As I have said many times, I encourage Kansans to be vaccinated, but that personal health care decision should be made by each individual and not mandated by the federal government,” Schmidt said. “At a time when Kansas employers and employees are desperately seeking a return to normalcy, this mandate would further disrupt and impede their efforts in private workplaces all across Kansas.”

This is the second case filed by Schmidt that challenges the federal government’s attempts to mandate vaccination across the country.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm