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Attorney General Knudsen Leads Multi-State Lawsuit Against Biden Healthcare Worker “Jab Or Job” Mandate
November 15, 2021
HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is leading an 12-state lawsuit to stop the Biden administration’s overreaching “job or jab” COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. The mandate threatens to further burden the health care sector and patient well-being in Montana, where a large percentage of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are already facing worker shortages.

The 12-state coalition filed the lawsuit and request for a preliminary injunction today in the U.S. District Court for Western District of Louisiana.

“President Biden’s trio of COVID vaccine mandates is an unconstitutional power grab and intrusion into Montanans’ lives. Federal judges have already blocked one mandate from going into effect, and the mandate for healthcare workers should be no different,” Attorney General Knudsen said.

“The federal mandates are not about health – they are about forced compliance. Healthcare workers should be allowed to make their own decisions about their health – not President Biden. If his unprecedented overreach is not stopped, healthcare workers will lose their jobs threatening access to medical care that Montanans need.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccine mandate on facilities that receive federal funding for treating patients exceeds the agency’s statutory authority and violates the Social Security Act’s prohibition on regulations that control the hiring and firing of healthcare workers. It also violates multiple federal laws, the Spending Clause, the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, and the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

More gravely, the Biden administration’s COVID-19 mandate threatens the well-being of people who rely on services provided by the federal healthcare programs and the livelihoods of the those who provide that care.

“The Vaccine Mandate causes grave danger to vulnerable persons whom Medicare and Medicaid were designed to protect – the poor, sick, and elderly – by forcing the termination of millions of ‘healthcare heroes,’” the lawsuit reads.

According to CMS, the COVID-19 vaccine mandate targets about a quarter of the nation’s health care workers who have not chosen to get vaccinated. The Biden administration’s core “objective is to coerce the unvaccinated workforce into submission or cause them to lose their livelihoods.” Without the injunction sought by Attorney General Knudsen, the result will be health care workers losing their jobs and America’s most vulnerable populations losing access to necessary medical care.

This will hit the healthcare system in rural Montana particularly hard. More than 39 percent of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in our state suffer from staff shortages, according to the AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard. https://www.aarp.org/ppi/issues/caregiving/info-2020/nursing-home-covid-dashboard.html More than one-third of staff have chosen to remain unvaccinated, meaning the Biden mandate could make the healthcare workforce shortage much worse.

“The Vaccine Mandate threatens to exacerbate already devastating shortages in healthcare staffing by forcing small rural hospitals to terminate their unvaccinated workers,” the complaint states. “If unvaccinated quit or are fired, that will compel those hospitals to close certain divisions, cancel certain services, or shutter altogether. Those dire consequences stretch across rural America.”

The Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate violates the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by seeking “to commandeer state-employee surveyors to become enforcers of CMS’s unlawful attempt to federalize national vaccine policy and override the States’ police power on matters of health and safety.”

In addition to Attorney General Knudsen, attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia are plaintiffs in the case.

Click here to read the lawsuit. Click here to read the preliminary injunction motion.
Link https://media.dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/CMS-Mandate-Complaint-final.pdf
Link https://dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/CMS-PI-Motion-final.pdf

Attorney General Knudsen continues to fight the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers in a case at the Eighth Circuit. Link https://dojmt.gov/attorney-general-knudsen-sues-to-block-biden-illegal-vaccine-mandate/

In a separate lawsuit, federal judges called that mandate “staggeringly overbroad” and blocked its implementation pending the outcome of the case.
He has also sued President Biden over the illegal COVID vaccine mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees issued via executive order. https://dojmt.gov/attorney-general-knudsen-sues-biden-administration-to-stop-illegal-federal-contractor-vaccine-mandate/

Biden Attempts To Turn Last Year’s Healthcare Heroes Into This Year’s Unemployed, Attorney General Jeff Landry Fights Back
Louisiana Leads Lawsuit Challenging Federal Government’s COVID Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers
BATON ROUGE, LA – Fighting for the medical freedom of Louisiana’s healthcare workers, Attorney General Jeff Landry has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ rule mandating COVID vaccines on nearly every full-time employee, part-time employee, volunteer, and contractor working at a wide range of healthcare facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicaid funding.

“Biden’s bureaucrats at CMS are threatening the jobs of millions of our healthcare heroes who risked their lives last year caring for our neighbors with COVID-19. What’s more: the mandate once again gives more rights and protections to illegal aliens than American citizens,” said Attorney General Landry. “The federal government will not impose medical tyranny on Louisiana’s people without my best fight.”

Attorney General Landry points out that this unconstitutional mandate will upend the state budget, putting billions of dollars at risk. Perhaps even more devastating is the healthcare shortages it will create, affecting the most vulnerable of the State’s citizens.

“The Biden Administration enacted their latest unlawful overreach despite acknowledging that there are endemic staff shortages for almost all categories of employees at almost all kinds of health care providers and suppliers,” added Attorney General Landry. “By disregarding not only the law but also the shortages, Biden is jeopardizing the healthcare interests of countless Americans.”

Attorney General Landry has taken previous legal action to prevent the government from standing between individuals and their doctors. He previously filed lawsuits to halt the illegal edicts mandating vaccines upon federal contractors and private employers.

“Biden seems to forget that coercion is not consent,” concluded Attorney General Landry. “But I will remind him in court as early and as often as it takes that the rule of law cannot be broken, even by the biggest of bullies.”
Joining Louisiana in this lawsuit is Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia