Rep. Pfeiffer: Oklahoma stops Biden vaccine mandates for health care workers

Oklahoma secured an important victory against President Biden’s overreach recently when a federal district court granted an injunction halting the administration’s vaccine mandates for health care workers.

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor and 11 other state attorneys general in November challenged the mandates. The court ruled the attempted mandate by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) exceeded its statutory authority and violated multiple federal laws, including the Spending Clause, the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, and the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Coupled with other court actions, the ruling makes it highly unlikely (but not impossible) for the federal government to meet and enforce its targeted early January compliance deadlines for two of its major vaccine mandates.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives, through the passage of House Bill 1236 last session set up this latest court victory against federal overreach. The bill granted the states’ attorney general both the authority and the funding to fight back in cases such as this that are deemed a violation of the state’s rights as granted under the Tenth Amendment. The amendment guarantees that powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it are reserved to the states. 

This is the second major victory by states against federal vaccine mandates. A prior injunction against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s attempted vaccine mandate on employers of 100 or more remains in effect while court proceedings continue. A third action, of which Oklahoma is a part, challenging vaccine mandates for federal contractors is pending.

Attorney General O’Connor has developed an employment discrimination form constituents can submit back to him if they believe their vaccination exemption request has been improperly denied by their employer.

In addition to vaccine mandates, HB1236 will allow us to fight other types of federal overreach as well. With the Biden Administration’s policies on energy, banking regulations, education, evictions and other areas, I expect we’ll be making very good use of this statute.

If I can do anything to help or to get you information, please feel free to reach out to my office at (405) 557-7332 or email me at


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