FILE - Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 response and vaccinations in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Washington.

(The Center Square) – Tennessee’s attorney general joined attorneys general from Ohio and Kentucky in filing a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal contractors.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky. It claims the vaccination mandate is unlawful and unconstitutional, and it could cause a workforce loss that would be a significant concern for the economies of many states and could lead to more supply chain issues.

“Unless we intervene, federal contractors in Tennessee will be forced to make sense of the mandate’s many inconsistencies that require their entire workforce be vaccinated or face potential blacklisting and loss of future federal contracts,” Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said. “That is simply unworkable and this lawsuit seeks to stop it.”

Several states have sued over the Biden administration’s rule that federal employees and employees of federal contractors be vaccinated by Jan. 4.

Biden announced in early September the sweeping new COVID-19 vaccination mandates that will force millions of unvaccinated Americans to receive the vaccine, undergo weekly testing or lose their jobs.

Federal contractors account for one-fifth of the country’s workforce, according to the lawsuit. One specific place of employment cited is county jails in Kentucky, several of which hold federal contracts.

“Multiple staff members at these jails have indicated they will end their employment if forced to take a COVID-19 vaccine, which will only exacerbate the current staffing challenges at these institutions and threaten public safety,” the lawsuit said.

The attorneys general argue the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate violates state sovereignty by preventing the states from exercising their police power to establish laws regarding workforce vaccination policies.

The lawsuit argues “the imposed mandates are unconstitutional because Congress did not articulate a clear principle by legislative act that directs the Executive to take sweeping action that infringes on state and individual rights.”

Staff Reporter

Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.