TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt signaled Friday that he’s likely to join other Republican state officials in challenging President Joe Biden’s new requirements for as many as 100 million Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Schmidt issued a statement saying that no president has the authority to issue the mandate that Biden did Thursday. The Democratic president’s requirements affect federal government workers and contractors, health care workers and employees of companies with 100 or more workers. Private employers would have to get their employees vaccinated or tested weekly.
Republican governors in Montana and Wyoming and Oklahoma’s GOP attorney general have all vowed to fight the mandate. In Missouri, Republican Gov. Mike Parson is considering calling a special session of the Legislature to challenge it.
Schmidt said: “If the president’s overreaching rhetoric becomes federal action, then rest assured we will vigorously challenge it.”
Other Kansas Republicans also criticized the mandate. In a tweet, U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall called it “a terrifying glimpse of the new Marxist Dem Party.”
Kansas Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Alan Cobb said employers be allowed to decide whether to require vaccinations for their workers and neither states nor the federal government should either require vaccinations or prohibit vaccine mandates from employers.