Florida filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday that challenges the Biden administration’s move to require employees of federal contractors to provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccination by Dec. 8.
Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa against multiple defendants, including President Joe Biden, NASA, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, l ‘Federal Office for Management and Budget and Federal General Services. Administration.
DeSantis said he hopes the lawsuit, which includes applications for preliminary and permanent injunctions, will bring relief to “thousands upon thousands of Floridians who are seeing their livelihoods at risk due to federal warrants.” He also pointed to the possibility of legal action.
“We’re going to do more,” DeSantis said. “We want to make sure that we protect people’s jobs, protect people’s livelihoods. Casting people aside is simply not something we can tolerate.
Moody’s called the federal vaccination requirement “illegal” and “complete and gross overreach.”
“This is not a dictatorship. President Biden, or his masters, do not have the ability to control everything in this country. As states we have rights and our citizens have rights and freedoms” , Moody said during his appearance with DeSantis at the Florida Air Museum in Lakeland.
The lawsuit is the latest chapter in a series of fights between Republican leaders in Florida and the Biden administration over Covid-19 and issues such as immigration. The state, for example, is fighting with the federal government in court over Covid-19 guidelines for the cruise ship industry and immigration policies.
Additionally, DeSantis has called for a special legislative session in November to push back on federal vaccination mandates. DeSantis said dates for the special session should be set by the end of the week.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat running for governor in 2022, criticized the latest lawsuit.
“This daily dose of vitriol from DeSantis is exhausting, dangerous, and does not create a job, raise a child, or solve any of our state’s many challenges,” Fried said in a Twitter post.
DeSantis, who is widely seen as a potential Republican candidate for president in 2024, said the vaccination requirement for federal contractors will hurt Florida’s economy and further expand federal authority.
“It’s not the end,” DeSantis said. “I think we know, they always say, ‘Oh, well, we just have to do this. And then they move on. And then the next thing and the next thing. And so, it’s important for us to take a stand, not only on what’s at stake here with the people who might be affected, but also knowing that if you don’t stand up to this, you’re going to continue to see other things, and they are absolutely going to do more.
The lawsuit argues, in part, that Biden lacked the power to enact the regulations. He also argues that the regulations failed to follow proper administrative processes and that “unlawful vaccine requirements seek to interfere with Florida employment policies and threaten Florida with economic harm and loss of federal contracts.” “.
NASA and the Federal General Services Administration are named because they often contract with agencies such as Space Florida and the Florida Department of Education.
“Because Florida employees are generally not required to be vaccinated, the contested actions threaten Florida with the loss of millions of dollars in future contract opportunities and place undue pressure on Florida to create new policies and alter existing ones, each threatening Florida with an imminent threat. irreparable harm,” the complaint states.
The federal ordinance requires clauses on vaccinations in government contracts. It applies to contracts “concluded, renewed or with an option to be exercised on or after October 15”, according to the lawsuit.
“Just because you’re a company that has federal contracts, it’s not fair for the federal government to step in and rewrite those contracts and then try to fit them in,” DeSantis said.
The regulations give businesses just over two weeks after Dec. 8 to comply. They are similar to the vaccination rules for federal employees.
–Jim Turner, Florida Press Service