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SC Attorney General files lawsuit to stop vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

South Carolina joins twelve other states in the lawsuit.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina has joined ten other states in a federal lawsuit to block a mandate requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court. 

“The Biden Administration has struck once again, attempting to coerce our healthcare workers into being vaccinated. The Federal Government seeks to bully the sovereign State of South Carolina into submission with the promise of federal funds,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Our healthcare workers are heroes to all of us and should be able to do their jobs without the Biden Administration’s threats and abuse of power. The rule of law and Constitution will prevail and federal power stopped dead in its tracks.”

RELATED: States challenge Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers

Joining Attorney General Wilson were the states of Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court Western Division of Louisiana, Monroe Division.

The lawsuit says, “The Biden Administration is playing statutory shell games with the courts in a desperate attempt to justify the unjustifiable.” It says, “The Administration has coopted the Medicare and Medicaid system to impose a vaccine on 17 million healthcare workers.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he supports the effort, and says the state is part of three lawsuits against the mandate.

"The federal government forcing South Carolinians to choose between their job and a COVID-19 vaccination is unjust and unlawful, and it must be challenged," he wrote on Twitter. 

RELATED: Appeals court upholds stay of employer vaccine-or-test mandate, calling it 'overbroad'

 The lawsuit points out legal problems with the mandate.

  • The mandate exceeds the authority of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • It violates the Social Security Act’s prohibition on regulations that control the selection and tenure of healthcare workers.
  • The mandate is arbitrary and capricious.
  • It violates the Spending Clause.
  • It violates the Anti-Commandeering doctrine.
  • It’s unconstitutional because it violates the Tenth Amendment.

In addition, according to the Attorney General, it also violates the Administrative Procedures Act’s notice-and-comment requirement, the Congressional Review Act’s publication-and-review requirements, and the Social Security Act’s consultation and regulatory-impact-analysis requirements.

The lawsuit asks the Court to hold that the vaccine mandate is unlawful and vacate it, while preliminarily and permanently blocking the Biden Administration from implementing it. 

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