COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined 26 other states, private employers and organizations in asking the US Supreme Court to block a federal COVID-19 vaccine and weekly testing mandate.
According to the Attorney General’s office, this is a result of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to lift a stay that required companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated or test unvaccinated workers weekly.
Attorney General Wilson and others filed the appeal just before 1 a.m. Saturday, officials said. This happened a few hours after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay.
7NEWS sat down with Attorney General Wilson Monday afternoon. He reiterated this legal challenge isn’t about the COVID-19 vaccine itself. Wilson said, “This is really about keeping the federal government constrained into it’s proper role.”
According to Wilson, their filing questions whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the authority to issue and enforce the mandate.
He said, “We feel very optimistic once the Supreme Court has had a chance to review our pleadings and what we have filed, we believe we will be successful in stopping theses mandates from going into effect ultimately.”
The Biden Administration has said the mandate is necessary to keep American workers safe during the pandemic. According to the CDC more than 800,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
No date has been set on when the Supreme Court could take up this appeal. Attorney General Wilson said, “I wouldn’t want a Republican administration doing this any more than I would want a Democrat administration doing this. This is all about controlling federal bureaucracy.”
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce represents some of the businesses impacted by this vaccine or weekly testing mandate. President and CEO Bob Morgan said some companies have begun preparing for the requirements. Others are waiting to see what happens.
Morgan said the Chamber does not support the federal mandate. He said, “We’ve also opposed efforts to take away the right of employers to implement their own vaccine mandate. We think employers know best on how to run their own businesses and they should be allowed to do so.”
Two other vaccine mandates from the Biden Administration, one for health care workers and the other for federal contractors remain blocked after rulings by federal judges.