By William Thornton | Associated Press
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall says Alabama will challenge President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in court, vowing that “when they file their proposed rule, we file our lawsuit.”
In a statement Monday, Marshall said he had received “a number of inquiries” regarding Biden’s announcement last week.”
Biden’s plan, which is unveiled in a speech last week, mandates that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, which would affect about 80 million Americans. Roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated. Biden officials have said companies could face penalties of up to $14,000 per violation.
In his statement, Marshall castigated the action.
“The vaccine mandate is unprecedented in its audacity and unlawful in its application,” Marshall said. “The Biden administration knows this full well. The State of Alabama will not allow such an authoritarian power grab to go unchecked.”
Last week Gov. Kay Ivey vowed to stand “as strong as a bull for Alabama against this outrageous Washington overreach” in reaction to the mandate. Earlier this summer, Marshall released guidance on enforcing Alabama’s law banning vaccine passports.
According to Marshall, Alabama’s vaccination law prohibits state or local governments from issuing or requiring immunization records not otherwise required by law, and prohibits state or local entities from requiring vaccination or proof of it, unless the vaccinations were already required before 2021.
On Monday, a trade group representing major companies such as Kellogg, Campbell Soup and CocaCola called for quick action to clear up questions on the vaccine mandate. The Consumer Brands Association submitted a series of questions asked by companies on how they will be expected to implement the COVID-19 Action Plan.