BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Attorney General Jeff Landry announced today that Louisiana and 11 other states are suing the Biden administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

On Nov. 4, the CMS announced the mandate requiring vaccines for eligible staff at health care facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The 49-page lawsuit, filed in the Western District federal court in Monroe, accuses the Biden administration of “playing statutory shell games with the courts” over vaccine mandates. The suit says the administration is using “schemes never before interpreted” to get around the fact that there are no statutory laws giving the administration power to mandate vaccines.

“Biden’s bureaucrats at CMS are threatening the jobs of millions of our healthcare heroes who risked their lives last year caring for our neighbors with COVID-19. What’s more: the mandate once again gives more rights and protections to illegal aliens than American citizens,” said Landry. “The federal government will not impose medical tyranny on Louisiana’s people without my best fight.”

The CMS laid out its policy on the vaccine mandate as follows:

Facilities covered by this regulation must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to providing any care, treatment, or other services by December 6, 2021. All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. The regulation also provides for exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances, or practices. Facilities must develop a similar process or plan for permitting exemptions in alignment with federal law.

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who is named in the suit, said the mandate …”addresses the risk of unvaccinated health care staff to patient safety and provides stability and uniformity across the nation’s health care system to strengthen the health of people and the providers who care for them.”

“Biden seems to forget that coercion is not consent,” said Landry. “But I will remind him in court as early and as often as it takes that the rule of law cannot be broken, even by the biggest of bullies.”