On Thursday, the Florida state sued the Biden government over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, opening yet another battlefield between the White House and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis announced the lawsuit at a press conference and alleges Biden does not have the authority to issue the order and said it violates procurement law.
DeSantis pledged legal action over federal inoculation requirements and fought vaccine rules and face masking implemented by Florida local governments. It alleges that the government issued the vaccine mandate based on the law that does not give it such authority. Among the defendants is NASA, which has a major presence in the state through the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island.
Florida is suing the Biden Administration over its mandate on federal contractors that is unlawfully jeopardizing thousands of jobs.
No one should lose their job due to these mandates.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 28, 2021
Florida is looking for a ban against the enforcement of Biden’s executive order. On the other hand, the White House declined to comment on the Florida lawsuit. The Department of Justice also denied commenting. Just like Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas, Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida resisted face mask mandates, enclosing the matter as one of personal freedom and not opposing inoculation itself as a public health move.
Grave Concerns over Vaccine Mandates
DeSantis recently announced he would call state representatives to the Capitol next month to approve legislation to fight vaccine mandates endorsed by private businesses. Moreover, DeSantis is observing a likely 2024 U.S. presidential run and is consistent in his criticism of the president’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and other concerns. Furthermore, Florida filed the case in the United States District Court in Tampa and names the president, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and contracting officials of the White House as defendants.
Another Twenty attorneys general sent a letter to the United States President expressing grave concerns over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, saying it stands on the unstable legal ground and is unclear and unpredictable with other measures to combat the virus. In addition, they wrote that implementing the mandate now – in the middle of a crisis regarding the supply chain – could have tragic consequences in light of the upcoming holiday season.
Biden Vaccine Mandate for Private Employees
President Biden previously announced that private employers with hundred or more employees would have to require them to receive the vaccination to face virus testing weekly. In addition, the approximately seventeen million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicated or Medicare also will have to receive the vaccination. In addition, the administration will release further details about the policies soon.
The U.S. president argued that the countrywide mandates would help end the deadly COVID-19 outbreak that claimed the lives of over seven hundred forty thousand American nationals. However, Republican leaders countrywide opposed the federal requirements about vaccination and threatened to bring similar lawsuits. Twenty-one Republican state attorneys general sent a letter on Wednesday to Biden saying they think the president’s vaccination mandate for federal contractors stands on wobbly legal ground, is unclear to contractors, and could worsen supply-chain issues.
What is the argument of the Florida lawsuit?
The lawsuit of Florida says that the Biden government depends on a statute that approves the president to suggest policies and orders that the president considers compulsory to bring the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 to force millions of American nationals who work for government contractors to receive a coronavirus vaccine.
The Florida lawsuit says that nothing in that ruling approves such an essential interference on the personal autonomy of American employees – specifically, as is the case here when several of that personnel are officials of the federal state. Furthermore, Florida argued that even if the law did approve, the vaccine requirements of the government would still be illegal because the way in which they endorsed violates basic principles of procurement and administrative law.
Florida officials told Fox News, the state believes the federal government misread Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, claiming it doesn’t approve the administration to use its contracts to enforce Congress’s unauthorized social policy. The state is also arguing that the court holds illegal and set aside the executive order of the president; issue permanent and issue declarative relief announcing the actions of the government illegal; initial judicial order relief ordering Defendants from executing the executive order; and award attorney’s fees and Florida costs.
In September, Biden signed an order requiring federal contractors to mandate COVID-19 vaccine vaccinations and ensure that employees should be fully vaccinated by 8th December. However, some companies representing national contractors urged the government to extend the deadline for employees through 2022 and argued that the deadline could become the reason for mass resignations at the height of the holiday season.