COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Legal battles over President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate are looming, according to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
This month, President Biden announced he would require companies with more than 100 workers to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for their workers or weekly testing for unvaccinated employees.
Attorney General Wilson and 23 other Republican Attorneys General from across the country sent a letter to President Biden this week vowing legal action if the mandate is enacted.
Attorney General Wilson said he encourages everyone to get vaccinated. He and his eligible family members have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine he told WSPA during an interview Friday..
He said his opposition to the mandate is about ‘the process and the rule of law.’
President Biden has directed the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to write up the mandate and enforce it. The language for the mandate hasn’t been finalized or released yet.
Attorney General Wilson said, “Doing it this way is unlawful, it is unconstitutional and there is no Supreme Court precedent that supports it. If the President puts out these regulations, I’ll tell you right now, there will be about half of the states in the country filing suits against him.”
Wilson also said the federal government cannot require this vaccine and cannot expand the scope of OSHA in this way. “The President is trying to grow and expand the power of an obscure administrative agency to try to coerce millions of Americans into doing this,” he said.
President Biden stands by the mandate and believes the requirement would get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, especially in states where rates are lagging. Health officials have said the vaccines in use in the US right now are safe and effective.
Following a speech last week, Biden told critics threatening legal action over the mandate to, “Have at it.”
Attorney General Wilson said if the mandate is implemented lawsuits could be filed in various states. “We believe we will win this. If the President does this, he will lose,” he said.
DHEC said 50% of eligible South Carolinians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.