Oklahoma Air Force Employees File Legal Challenge Against Federal Vaccine Requirement

Tuesday, December 7th 2021, 6:44 pm

A group of military employees and a local union filed a lawsuit last week challenging the legality of the federal government’s requirement that all federal workers get the COVID-19 vaccine shot. 

The American Federal of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2586, which represents civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense at Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma, along with three other individuals filed the lawsuit last week in federal district court. 

The lawsuit, led by attorney Rachel Bussett, claims the mandate violates the fifth and tenth amendments of the U.S. Constitution. 

“Plaintiff AFGE Local 2586 has suffered financial loss due to the Federal Employee Vaccine Mandate in that 20% to 30% of its members at Altus AFB have left or will leave their employment as a result of the mandate,” the lawsuit reads. 

Kevin Davenport is the president of the AFGE Local 2586, and said the members urged him to “fight” the mandate “in every which way possible.” 

“If the agency doesn’t want to bargain with us and they’re going by what the president has sent down, then we’ve got no other options other than go legal,” he said. 

Davenport, who is vaccinated, estimated in the lawsuit that 20-30% of the union’s members have left or will leave their job if they are required to become inoculated. 

Last week, Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor filed five lawsuits against the federal government to challenge the mandates. 

Bussett said she has already contacted O’Connor’s office seeking to combine their lawsuits into one case. 

“The government is overstepping. This is one in a series of oversteps that we have seen through the use of the executive order process,” Bussett said. “States typically regulate the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, not the federal government. The federal government is a government of limited powers.” 

Related Story: Gov. Stitt, AG O'Connor Highlight Fight Against Federal Vaccine Mandates


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