South Dakota AG Ravnsborg joins coalition to halt vaccine mandate for federal contractors
PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has joined 10 other states on Friday in filing a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees.
The 10-state coalition is led by Missouri and includes Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The states are challenging the Biden Administration’s use of federal procurement statutes to mandate vaccinations.
“Today, I stand with other Attorneys General in fighting back against this absurd federal overreach,” said Ravnsborg. “The U.S. Department of Labor reports that workers employed by a federal contractor make up one-fifth of the entire labor market. This illegal, unconstitutional mandate would harm businesses, the workforce, and the existing supply chain crisis to a degree that would be extremely difficult to repair.”
The lawsuit argues that Executive Order 14042 enacted by the Biden Administration on September 9 has a number of violations. They say it violates the Procurement Act, violates the Procurement Policy Act, is an unlawful usurpation of states’ police powers, violates the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, is a procedural violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, is a substantive violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, is a substantive violation of the APA as an agency action not in accordance with law and in excess of authority, is a substantive violation of the APA as an agency action that is arbitrary and capricious and is in violation of notice-and-comment requirements, violates the separation of powers, and violates the Tenth Amendment and federalism, and is an unconstitutional exercise of the spending power.
The lawsuit also argues that the vaccine mandate is unconstitutional by stating, “Defendants, through their vaccine mandate, have exercised power far beyond what was delegated to the federal government by constitutional mandate or congressional action. Neither Article II of the U.S. Constitution nor any act of Congress authorizes defend ants to implement their vaccine mandate. The power to impose vaccine mandates, to the extent that any such power exists, is a power reserved to the States.”
The court is being asked to declare the mandate as unlawful and enjoin defendants from enforcing the vaccine.
“South Dakota is standing up with other states to protect our people from the Biden Administration’s illegal mandates,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Though they are delaying their announcement of other mandates because they know those would be unconstitutional, we will not wait to fight this federal contractor mandate. We set up our defense with an executive order earlier this week. Now it’s time to go on offense.”
Gov. Noem signed an executive order earlier this week to protect South Dakota state employees from the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate. The order guaranteed medical and religious exemptions, and Gov. Noem also announced her intention to bring legislation to to extend similar protections to private workers.