FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron says President Joe Biden's new vaccine mandates are illegal.
Cameron has joined attorneys general from several other states in filing a pair of lawsuits challenging the Biden administration's requirement of either vaccinations or weekly testing for private businesses with more than 100 employees, and for federal contractors.
"Those are unprecedented moves that are being taken by the Biden administration," Cameron told WDRB News.
Cameron said, by law, it is an individual state decision whether to require vaccinations, not the federal government.
"I think the Biden administration again has put their thumbs on all of the states across this country and have taken a role and a responsibility that's normally reserved to the states and tried to commandeer it for themselves," he said. "That is an unconstitutional move."
Cameron, a Republican, said he is sympathetic to the idea that Biden is trying to protect public health.
"We all recognize the responsibility to keep people safe. But in addition to that we've got to make sure we're doing it in a way that is consistent with and abides with the constitution," he said.
Indiana is also teaming with other states to file separate lawsuits.
"When you have these David and Goliath battles, it's nice to have a lot of Davids," said Indiana’s Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita.
When asked about the issue on Thursday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, said he is not sure if the lawsuits have merit.
"I don't know the nuances of this lawsuit, but In the end, we have to follow the law as a state, so we will prepare to comply," Beshear said.
Beyond the legal arguments, Cameron said he is concerned the mandates could cost jobs. He pointed to the example of county jails that contract with the Dept. of Justice to hold and transport federal prisoners.
"You could have a situation where a lot of jails in counties and communities all across Kentucky lose out on that federal contract and, in turn, a lot of folks lose their jobs," he said.
Cameron said a lot of employers are "sweating" trying to figure out how to comply with the new mandates. He said he hopes the federal courts will put the rules on hold while the cases are being heard.
"I think the working men and women of this commonwealth want somebody that's going to stand up for them on this issue," he said.
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