State attorneys general across America are fighting to end Joe Biden's COVID-19 shot mandate. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led the charge in a lawsuit joined by 11 other states to block the Biden administration over its unlawful "job or jab" COVID-19 shot mandate for health care workers.
The lawsuit argues that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service' shot mandate on facilities that receive federal funding for treating patients exceeds the agency's statutory authority and violates the Social Security Act's prohibition on regulations that control the hiring and firing of health care workers. It also violates multiple federal laws, the Spending Clause, the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine and the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
"The Vaccine Mandate causes grave danger to vulnerable persons whom Medicare and Medicaid were designed to protect—the poor, sick and elderly—by forcing the termination of millions of 'healthcare heroes,'" the lawsuit reads.
The mandate violates the 10th Amendment of the Constitution by seeking "to commandeer state-employee surveyors to become enforcers of CMS's unlawful attempt to federalize national vaccine policy and override the States' police power on matters of health and safety."
The mandate targets about a quarter of the nation's health care workers who have not chosen to get vaccinated, according to CMS.
Along with Montana's Knudsen, attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia are plaintiffs in the case.
The 12-state coalition filed the lawsuit and motion for a preliminary injunction Nov. 15 in the U.S. District Court for Western District of Louisiana in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuit was later consolidated with all other challenges nationwide into the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Health care facilities in rural states already suffer from staff shortages. The shot mandate threatens to further burden health care and negatively impact patient well-being.
"The Vaccine Mandate threatens to exacerbate already devastating shortages in healthcare staffing by forcing small rural hospitals to terminate their unvaccinated workers," the complaint states. "If unvaccinated quit or are fired, that will compel those hospitals to close certain divisions, cancel certain services or shutter altogether. Those dire consequences stretch across rural America."
Attorney General Knudsen continues to fight the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's COVID shot mandate for private employers in a case at the Eighth Circuit. He has also sued Biden over the illegal mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees issued via executive order.
Liberty Counsel's founder and Chairman Mat Staver said: "The COVID shot mandate for health care facilities that accept Medicaid or Medicare will create a national health care emergency. In many places there is already a critical shortage of health care workers. Many doctors, nurses and other health care workers will either be terminated or quit because they refuse for religious and other reasons to inject their bodies with the COVID shots. This is particularly true in areas that are already understaffed. Patients will have fewer health care options, and many hospitals will have to refuse care for lack of staff. This crisis is already occurring in states that imposed mandates on health care workers."
This article originally appeared at lc.org.
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