Georgia sues Biden administration over vaccine mandates

Kemp getting vaccinated
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was vaccinated in October.

Georgia has joined six other states in filing a long-threatened complaint against President Joe Biden and other federal agencies over the White House’s COVID vaccine mandates.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr filed the complaint late last week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Other states joining the complaint are Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.

The lawsuit claims the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate is unconstitutional.

“This vaccine mandate on federal contractors will only further divide Americans and hamstring our economy,” Kemp said. “Polling shows 70% of unvaccinated Americans say they would quit their jobs if their company required the COVID-19 vaccine.

“From an employer’s perspective, nine in 10 fear significant reductions in their workforce if they had to implement vaccine mandates. We will not allow the Biden administration to circumvent the law or force hardworking Georgians to choose between their livelihood or this vaccine.”

The plaintiffs are asking the court to block the defendants and those acting in concert with them from enforcing the mandate on any state of Georgia federal contracting agency, subcontractor, and employee.

Democrats were decrying the lawsuit even before the complaint was formally filed.

“Brian Kemp and Chris Carr’s lawsuit is nothing more than a dangerous political stunt,” said Rhyan Lake, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Rather than put partisanship aside to get Georgians vaccinated, Georgia Republicans have decided to wage a war on the side of COVID-19.

“The vast majority of Americans support President Biden’s actions to protect our communities’ health against the spread of coronavirus, and Georgia’s recent rise in vaccinations prove that it is working. Kemp and Georgia Republicans should end their pro-COVID antics, heed the call of Georgians, and join Democrats in fighting to end this pandemic.”

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.