Kansas AG continues to fight COVID-19 vaccine mandates in court

FILE PHOTO - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt discusses a proposal that he's pushing with...
FILE PHOTO - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt discusses a proposal that he's pushing with other Republicans to amend the state constitution to give the Legislature the power to overturn state agencies' administrative regulations, at a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Behind him are Senate President Ty Masterson, left, R-Andover, and House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., right, R-Olathe.(AP Photo/John Hanna)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 2:32 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt continues to fight COVID-19 vaccine mandates in federal courts.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he continues to fight the Biden Administration’s steady efforts to mandate federal contractors and their employees to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine as a requirement for employment.

“The Biden administration hasn’t given up on trying to impose its job-or-jab federal mandates, and neither have we given up our efforts to stop them,” Schmidt said.

The AG said the mandate received considerable attention in the fall of 2021 when it threatened the jobs of Kansas defense contractors - such as those in the aerospace industry and at state research universities. He said public attention fell after he went to court in December 2021.

While in court, Schmidt said he was able to gain an injunction to block the mandate which eased the threat to the jobs of Kansans. However, he said the Biden Administration continues to push for the injunction to be lifted and the mandate restored.

In June, Schmidt said he joined briefs that supported legal challenges to the federal contractor mandate filed by several states in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and the 8th Circuit.

Schmidt noted that Kansas is included in litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit where the Biden Administration still fights to lift the injunction which blocks it from enforcing the mandate in the Sunflower State.

The AG said he has aggressively fought back against federal vaccine mandates since September 2021 when President Joe Biden announced he would order federal vaccine mandates. To date, he said he has brought legal challenges to four of the Biden mandates - including the mandate to federal contractors.

Schmidt said the OSHA mandate for private employers has been blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court and was later withdrawn by the federal government while the Head Start mandate is blocked in Kansas by a federal district court.

The AG noted that the Head Start mandate requires all staff and contractors in Head Start facilities to be vaccinated and mandates all toddlers age two and up to wear masks.

In May, Schmidt said he and officials from nine other states asked the Supreme Court to review the legality of the vaccine mandate for health care workers. In January, he said the Court declined to temporarily block the health care mandate from implementation, however, it did not reach all of the statutory or constitutional questions presented in the state’s petition. He said this litigation is ongoing.

To read copies of the briefs filed, click HERE.

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