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Utah joins petition challenging COVID-19 vaccine, testing mandate

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Posted at 1:18 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 16:30:25-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah has joined a challenge to the Biden administration's COVID-19 testing and vaccine mandate.

The Utah Attorney General's Office on Friday signed on to a petition filed by Texas at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, alongside Mississippi and South Carolina. It seeks a review of the legality of the federal rule crafted by the Biden administration, requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to either mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or regular testing.

"As I’ve stated before, President Biden can pretend to be an emperor, but America is a free republic, not a dictatorial state," Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement. "Vaccines may be a powerful counter to the COVID epidemic, especially for those without natural immunity. But the choice to get vaccinated is a deeply personal one that should be made free of government threats and cudgels. Forcing that decision upon the American people is not only counterproductive but also blatantly illegal. And the President knows it."

Reyes said President Biden was attempting to "bully private businesses, their employees, and government healthcare workers into compliance."

"These mandates will backfire. They will cost the President and his party in coming elections. And they will not stand up in court. But we will stand up in court—for the people. Because if left unchallenged, these mandates will hurt working Americans, struggling businesses, and our economy," he said.

In an interview with FOX 13 on Thursday, Governor Spencer Cox said Utah was expected to sue to challenge the rule. The governor called it "unconstitutional."

The rule, which goes into effect on Jan. 4, includes a potential $14,000 fine per violation for businesses.  The Texas Attorney General's Office said it would seek a motion to stay, halting the rule from going into effect.

Read the filing here: