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Oklahoma Attorney General O'Connor calls for employers to 'disregard' President Biden's vaccine mandate requirements

Nurses draw vaccine doses from a vial as Maryland residents receive their second dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor released a statement Thursday calling for employers to disregard the Biden administration’s upcoming vaccine and testing requirement for their employees.

The rule would require employers with 100 or more workers to ensure employees have either received the COVID-19 vaccine or are tested weekly for the virus.

In the statement, Attorney General O’Connor said should the federal emergency rule be issued, he and Attorneys General from other states would seek an injunction against its implementation.

OU law professor Joseph Thai says he doesn’t think a lawsuit will go far.

"I don't think Oklahoma has legal standing to challenge the federal vaccine mandate because the mandate targets individuals, not the state of Oklahoma, and so those individuals would have to raise their own challenges," he said. "But Supreme Court case law going back more than a century basically has upheld the power of the government to mandate vaccines for public health."

The Supreme Court, Thai says, has never recognized the right to refuse vaccination as a fundamental right.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt released a video statement Thursday on the Biden administration's vaccine requirements. In the video, Gov. Stitt called the administration's employer vaccine mandates an action of "federal overreach" and "unconstitutional."

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Beth reports on education topics for StateImpact Oklahoma.
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