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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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SOUTH DAKOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL JOINS 10 STATE COALITION IN FILING SUIT TO HALT VACCINE MANDATE FOR FEDERAL CONTRACTORS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, October 29, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg today joined a ten-state coalition led by Missouri in filing a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees. The lawsuit challenges the Biden Administration’s use of federal procurement statutes to mandate vaccinations through Executive Order 14042.

“Today, I stand with other Attorneys General in fighting back against this absurd federal overreach,” said Ravnsborg.  “The U.S. Department of Labor reports that workers employed by a federal contractor make up one-fifth of the entire labor market. This illegal, unconstitutional mandate would harm businesses, the workforce, and the existing supply chain crisis to a degree that would be extremely difficult to repair.”

The lawsuit argues that the September 9, 2021 executive order enacted by the Biden Administration requiring employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated violates the Procurement Act, violates the Procurement Policy Act, is an unlawful usurpation of states’ police powers, violates the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, is a procedural violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, is a substantive violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, is a substantive violation of the APA as an agency action not in accordance with law and in excess of authority, is a substantive violation of the APA as an agency action that is arbitrary and capricious and is in violation of notice-and-comment requirements, violates the separation of powers, and violates the Tenth Amendment and federalism, and is an unconstitutional exercise of the spending power. The lawsuit incorporates twelve counts.

The lawsuit also argues that the vaccine mandate is unconstitutional, stating, “Defendants, through their vaccine mandate, have exercised power far beyond what was delegated to the federal government by constitutional mandate or congressional action. Neither Article II of the U.S. Constitution nor any act of Congress authorizes defend ants to implement their vaccine mandate. The power to impose vaccine mandates, to the extent that any such power exists, is a power reserved to the States.”

The lawsuit asks the court to declare the vaccine mandate unlawful and enjoin defendants from enforcing the vaccine mandate.

You can read the complaint here.

Joining South Dakota and Missouri in the lawsuit are Attorneys General from Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

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The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the State of South Dakota and provides legal advice to agencies, boards, and commissions of the State as well as representing the State in state and federal court.  The Office of Attorney General also handles prosecutions, felony criminal appeals, civil matters, consumer protection issues, and issues formal opinions interpreting statutes for agencies of the state.  Visit www.atg.sd.gov to learn more.

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