Alaska sues to challenge Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate for federal contractors

a small vial sits on a table
A nurse prepares to administer a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine at a clinic in Anchorage. (Hannah Lies/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska and nine other states have filed a lawsuit challenging President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

The lawsuit claims the mandate violates state laws, including one the Alaska Legislature adopted in April that says no one has to provide justification or documentation to support a decision to not get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Among the entities that would be considered federal contractors that would be subject to the mandate, the lawsuit says, are the Alaska departments of Corrections, Health and Public Safety, as well as the Alaska Railroad and the University of Alaska.

The lead plaintiff in the case is the State of Missouri, and the lawsuit is filed in U.S. District Court for Eastern Missouri. All 10 plaintiff states are led by Republican governors.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at

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