A Columbia employment law attorney said Americans should be prepared to start hearing more about fights brewing between states and the federal government over vaccine mandates.

“It’s the beginning,” Paul Porter of Cromer Babb Porter & Hicks said.

At this point, 19 states, including South Carolina, have filed four lawsuits against the federal government over a vaccine requirement for all federal contractors, part of a multi-faceted mandate announced by President Joe Biden in September.

South Carolina joined a challenge filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Augusta, along with Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Utah, and West Virginia. The same day, 10 other states — Missouri, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming — filed a similar lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, as did Texas in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Galveston. The day before, Florida filed its own lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa.

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