State lawyers arguing against Biden vaccine mandates test positive for COVID-19

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FILE PHOTO: A general view of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington

WILMINGTON, Del (Reuters) - Two officials presenting arguments on Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to block vaccine mandates ordered by President Joe Biden's administration have tested positive for COVID-19 and will make their cases remotely, their offices said.

Ohio Solicitor General Benjamin Flowers and Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill will argue against the vaccination and testing requirements by phone, according to their offices.

"Ben who is vaccinated and boosted, tested positive for COVID-19 after Christmas. His symptoms were exceptionally mild and he has since fully recovered," said a statement from the Ohio attorney general's office. "The Court required a PCR test yesterday which detected the virus so for that reason he is arguing remotely."

Murrill's office said she would be arguing remotely "in accordance with COVID protocols," without elaborating.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday was hearing arguments over requests by Republican state officials and business groups to block two of President Joe Biden's vaccine mandates: one for employers with more than 100 workers and a similar requirement for healthcare facilities at a time of surging COVID-19 cases nationwide.

Other parties in the case will be delivering arguments in person.

The Supreme Court has closed its building to the public due to the pandemic.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Will Dunham)

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