Louisiana AG Landry sues Biden administration over federal contractor vaccine rules

Several other Republican attorneys general have filed similar lawsuits

By: - November 5, 2021 11:00 am

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (Image via RLDF.org).

Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry on Thursday filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration over its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for federal contractors. 

Several other states attorneys general from the Republican Party have already filed similar lawsuits. Indiana and Mississippi joined Landry in his lawsuit on behalf of Louisiana, which was submitted to a federal court in Alexandria.

Biden has mandated that all people working for the federal contractors — millions of workers across the United States — get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Landry believes that Biden’s order is an overreach of federal government power.

“As the chief legal officer of Louisiana, I am taking action to prevent the government from forcing Louisiana citizens to inject something into their bodies,” Landry said in a press release Thursday. 

Those named in Landry’s lawsuit include Biden and federal officials at the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Centers for Disease Control, among others.

The Pelican Institute, a conservative think tank in Louisiana, announced Friday that it had also filed a lawsuit challenging Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on large private employers. The suit was filed in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans.

The Biden administration is requiring that employees at companies with more than 100 workers also get a COVID-19 vaccine or submit to regular testing by Jan. 4. The federal government will fine employers where the workforce does not comply. 

The Pelican Institute contends that Biden cannot use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to enforce a vaccine mandate and that the president doesn’t have the authority to implement the requirement without permission from Congress.

The Pelican Institute in the lawsuit is representing Brandon Trosclair, an Ascension Parish resident who owns Ralph’s Market in Gonzales. Trosclair has 475 employees and is subject to Biden’s vaccine mandate, according to the conservative organization. 

The Louisiana House Conservative Caucus — a group of over 40 Republicans in the state Legislature — also sent out a statement Thursday saying they were also planning to file legislation to block any government mandate requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for workers.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, vetoed similar legislation aimed at weakening COVID-19 vaccine requirements earlier this year. The Republicans don’t have enough votes in the Legislature to override Edwards without help from Democrats or independents in the House.

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Julie O'Donoghue
Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator and producer of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press. Julie covered state government and politics for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune for six years. She’s also covered government and politics in Missouri, Virginia and Washington D.C. Julie is a proud D.C. native and Washington Capitals hockey fan. She and her partner, Jed, live in Baton Rouge. She has two stepchildren, Quinn and Steven.