Florida has sued the Biden administration and NASA regarding allegedly unlawful COVID-19 vaccine requirements for persons working under federal contracts.
On Thursday, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Tampa. It claims the federal mandate unlawfully interferes with state employment laws and regulations. The case also claims that President Joe Biden lacks the legal authority to issue the mandate, and the rule will adversely affect Florida’s economy.
The federal mandate requires all workers under federal contracts to be fully vaccinated before December 8. Biden has also announced he expects the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to enact an emergency rule requiring private employers nationwide with more than 100 workers to require vaccinations or weekly testing.
The lawsuit includes NASA because of its current contractual relationships with Florida and its residents, requiring the agency to impose the “unlawful requirements” of the rule.
The complaint alleges that the federal government improperly relies on the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 to compel the shots. It alleges that the statute does not authorize “such a radical intrusion” on workers for government contracting agencies or “officials of a sovereign state.”
Even if the statute applied, the plaintiffs allege that the mandate would still be illegal because the way it was issued violates “administrative and procurement law.”
DeSantis and Moody ask the federal court to declare Biden’s executive order unlawful and set it aside. They also seek temporary and permanent injunctions against the federal government, as well as attorney’s fees. The matter has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.
He recently announced that he would call state lawmakers to a special legislative session in Tallahassee in November to discuss legislation prohibiting vaccine mandates enacted by private employers.