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SC, other states begin legal battle against federal vaccine mandate

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 2:13 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 5, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina’s attorney general says the state has joined four other states and several businesses in filing paperwork to begin a court fight against a federal vaccine mandate.

“Unlike the Biden Administration, the judges with whom our petition has been filed will consider the Constitution.” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “The President is flouting the rule of law to engage in federal overreach at its worst. He has little regard for the constitutional liberties of our citizens.”

Wilson joined the attorneys general of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah, along with six businesses, in filing the Petition for Review with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

This is the first step in the legal challenge of the Biden administration’s vaccine rule. The court motion will be filed at a later date.

Wilson on Thursday said the mandate, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration introduced for private companies with more than 100 employees as well as workers at health care facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients, was “garbage” and “unconstitutional.”

“Private companies have the freedom to require their employers to get vaccinated, just like they have the freedom to require a dress code, but a federal agency does not have the authority to impose that mandate on private employers,” Wilson said in a statement.

Wilson said numerous business owners in the state told him the mandate would “crush” their businesses.

“As I’ve said before, this is not about whether vaccines are a good idea, this is about following the rule of law and not allowing a federal bureaucracy to abuse power and flout the law,” he said.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order late Thursday barring state agencies from implementing or enforcing vaccine mandates and also ordering them to report to him any communications with feds over vaccination.

McMaster said on Twitter the mandates “are forcing South Carolinians to choose between a vaccine and their jobs.”

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