House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, released the following statement today in response to Oklahoma's lawsuits challenging proposed federal vaccine mandates for private businesses and contractors:
"Attorney General John O'Connor is properly exercising the authority and funding the Legislature provided for aggressive defense against overreach from President Biden's administration. A lot of Oklahomans and businesses are thankful their state is standing up for their rights in court. Oklahoma will defend our citizenry's freedom and rights as a state."
House Bill 1236 – coauthored by nearly all House Republicans and enacted into law in the 2021 session – created the State Reserved Powers Unit in Office of the Attorney General to assert Oklahoma's 10th Amendment rights as a state through legal challenges of federal actions, "including, but not limited to, executive orders by the President of the United States, rules or regulations promulgated by an agency of the federal government or acts of Congress." The Legislature also approved a direct appropriation of $10 million to the Office of the Attorney General to support such challenges.
Using House Bill 1236's authority, Attorney General John O'Connor on Thursday announced he has filed a lawsuit challenging President Biden's attempted federal contractor vaccine mandate and will file another lawsuit shortly challenging the president's attempted employer vaccine mandate. The federal government is attempting to implement the mandates under a presidential executive order, without congressional authorization.
Press Contact: John Estus
Office of House Speaker Charles McCall
Capitol: (405) 557-7439
Cell: (405) 706-0084