Is the federal vaccine requirement legal? One expert weighs in.

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Last week, President Joe Biden announced that businesses which employ more than 100 people must require the COVID-19 vaccine.

Some lawmakers quickly came out against the executive order including Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita. Rokita said that he, and other like-mind Attorneys General are preparing to take legal action against the order.

“My team and I, along with other like-minded attorneys general, are reviewing all legal action on how to stand against these authoritarian actions by the Biden administration,” Rokita said. “We will be prepared to file suit if Biden seeks illegal actions restricting Hoosiers’ liberties.”

However, legal expert and IUPUI Assistant Professor, Peter Federman, said that those who look to take legal action against the order may not have much of an argument.

Federman explained that the mandate isn’t necessarily a mandate. He stated that the executive order is a ‘workplace safety rule’ that the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can easily implement.

“This workplace safety rule issued by the Department of Labor and OSHA are things that they do all the time,” Federman said. “In my view, this perfectly in line with other things the Department of Labor has done in the past.”

Federman cited that specific vaccines have been required for public schools for decades by the Department of Education, which is similar to what the Department of Labor is likely to do.

One potential roadblock for the executive order is if it doesn’t get the nod from larger private companies. However, Federman said this would be unlikely.

“I imagine a large class action lawsuit from the Walmarts or Amazons of the world might make a difference, but I don’t see that happening,” Federman said.

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