CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — Attorneys general in 11 states, including New Hampshire, filed suit Friday against President Joe Biden’s administration, challenging a new vaccine requirement for workers at companies with more than 100 employees.

The lawsuit filed in the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals argues that the authority to compel vaccinations rests with the states, not the federal government.

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“Today’s action continues our efforts to protect the State of New Hampshire from the federal government’s attempt to impose illegal mandates,” New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said in a statement. “As I have said previously, the available Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and every eligible person in New Hampshire is encouraged to get a Covid-19 vaccine. However, the new Emergency Temporary Standard issued by OSHA is illegal and would impose significant burdens on New Hampshire businesses and their employees. We are therefore obligated to take action to protect the interests of our State’s citizens and businesses.”

In a statement, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu backed the decision to join the lawsuit.

“COVID vaccines are the most effective tool we have to protect ourselves and our community from this virus,” he said. “But as the head of state, I recognize the limitations of government in mandating this personal medical decision. President Biden has created a loophole to facilitate this overreach, which is why I fully support the Attorney Generals decision to sign on to this lawsuit.”

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New regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandate that companies with more than 100 employees require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested for the virus weekly and wear masks on the job. The requirement is to kick in Jan. 4. Failure to comply could result in penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation.

The Biden administration has been encouraging widespread vaccinations as the quickest way out of the pandemic. A White House spokeswoman said Thursday that the mandate was intended to halt the spread of a disease that has claimed more than 750,000 lives in the U.S.

New Hampshire was joined in the lawsuit by the Republican attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The office of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, also joined in the suit, along with several private, nonprofit and religious employers.

The Daily Wire, a conservative media company, filed a challenge in federal court on Thursday. So did companies in Michigan and Ohio represented by a conservative advocacy law firm, as well as two Wisconsin manufacturers represented by a conservative law firm.

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