Iowa joins lawsuit over federal vaccine mandate
The U.S. Senate passed a resolution Wednesday night to block President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private employers. (Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce/ For the Virginia Mercury)
The state of Iowa has joined a lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that a requirement for federal employees to get vaccinated is “unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.”
President Joe Biden in early September signed an executive order that requires federal employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 with no opt-out. The rule is scheduled to take effect on Dec. 8.
Iowa has just over 18,000 federal employees, including U.S. Postal Service workers and National Guard members.
Ten states filed a lawsuit against Biden and other federal officials on Friday in the Eastern District Court of Missouri. The suit alleges that a vaccine mandate for federal workers is unconstitutional, overrides states’ rights and would disrupt important work in the states.
“I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19, but no one should be forced to choose between making a living or standing up for their personal beliefs,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “As long as I am governor, the State of Iowa will always stand alongside Iowans … to be sure their freedoms are protected.”
Reynolds announced Iowa’s participation in the lawsuit just hours after she signed a law that will provide unemployment benefits to Iowans who are fired for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The law also explicitly creates exemptions to employer vaccine mandates.
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