AG Rokita files suit to stop Biden administration from forcing COVID mandates on health care workers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita does not want the Biden administration to force health care workers in Indiana to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rokita announced that he filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning, calling President Biden’s move unlawful.

“No pandemic gives President Biden the authority to ignore the Constitution and the rule of law,” Attorney General Rokita said. “And my office will use every means at our disposal to protect Hoosiers’ liberties from this president’s gross executive overreach.”

Rokita is attempting to stop a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule in which all care workers at facilities that take part in the Medicare and Medicaid program be vaccinated.

This is the third suit Rokita has filed in relation to the COVID-19 mandates.

From Associated Press: 2nd group of states challenges health worker vaccine mandate

By KEVIN McGILL, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A second set of states has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

The latest suit, dated Monday, was filed in Louisiana on behalf of 12 states and comes less than a week after another lawsuit challenging the rule was filed in Missouri by a coalition of 10 states.

“The federal government will not impose medical tyranny on Louisiana’s people without my best fight,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a news release announcing the lawsuit.

Both lawsuits say the vaccine mandate threatens to drive away health care workers who refuse to get vaccinated at a time when such workers are badly needed. They also contend the rule issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services violates federal law and unconstitutionally encroaches on powers reserved to the states.

The Louisiana lawsuit quotes from Friday’s order by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocking a broader Biden administration vaccine mandate that businesses with more than 100 workers require employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or wear masks and be tested weekly for COVID-19.

Borrowing language from the 5th Circuit, the Louisiana lawsuit calls the health care worker vaccine requirement a “one-size-fits-all” sledgehammer. In addition to Louisiana, the suit covers Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.

The Missouri suit includes Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The Biden administration has not yet filed responses in either of the suits.

The Louisiana-based lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, an appointee of President Donald Trump. Any appeals of a Doughty decision would go to the 5th Circuit.