SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and 23 other attorneys general (AGs) sent a letter to President Joe Biden Thursday, warning that litigation will follow the implementation of the proposed mandate on private-sector employees to either get a COVID-19 shot, submit to weekly testing, or be fired.
The group outlined their legal and policy concerns with the mandate, which will be carried out through an Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) emergency temporary standard.
Reyes stated, “I am committed to continuing leading with my colleagues to push back and fight this mandate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. Both employers and employees in Utah, with unprecedented fervor, have flooded my office with messages of dire concern and extreme opposition to the proposed mandate. I firmly agree.”
Reyes claimed the proposed mandates violate the constitutional separation of powers, reasonable notions of federalism and vastly expand the invasive reach of federal agencies under the guise of “emergency powers.”
The AGs called on President Biden to withdraw his proposed standards. They claimed that forcing them on the business community will be disastrous from a legal, policy, and financial standpoint and will further divide America.”
The coalition of AGs goes beyond legal arguments to address practical policy considerations of such a sweeping order. Most concerning is the potential to drive individuals out of the workforce, particularly healthcare workers, who are most needed right now to fight the pandemic. Additionally, the mandate allegedly ignores the tens of millions of Americans with natural immunity and will drive further skepticism of vaccines.
Utah was joined on the letter by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.