Parson readies litigation to fight Biden vaccine mandate

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Gov. Mike Parson on Friday vowed to sue the Biden administration over the president's newly announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Parson in a news release said the mandate impacting private U.S. businesses with more than 100 employees is unconstitutional. In a Sept. 9 speech, Biden said he would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to craft a rule requiring those employees to receive vaccines or face mandatory weekly testing.

"Missouri will not be a pawn in this publicity stunt that seeks to force Missourians to disclose private health care decisions and dictate private business operations," Parson said in the release.

The mandate, according to the Parson administration, would infringe on Missouri's constitutional authority and exceed the scope of authority granted to the president and OSHA.

The release included supporting voices from Missouri House of Representatives Speaker Rob Vescovo and Senate President Pro -Tem Dave Schatz.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry separately issued a statement opposing Biden's mandate.

“The Biden administration’s new COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate is the wrong approach for business. As always, the Missouri chamber will stand against attempts to place new government mandates on our employer community," said Dan Mehan, president and CEO of the chamber, in the statement. "In contrast with [the] Biden administration’s approach, we believe the federal government should instead cooperate with the employer community to encourage vaccination and support employers that exercise their legal right to require vaccination."

In his speech last week, Biden additionally mandated shots for health care workers, federal contractors and the vast majority of federal workers.

“We’ve been patient,” Biden said. “But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”