Arizona Attorney General challenges Biden administration’s vaccine mandate
PHOENIX, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is suing President Joe Biden and other officials in his administration over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees, federal contractors, and private businesses with more than 100 employees.
The AGO is asking the District Court of Arizona to declare the Biden Administration’s vaccine and testing policies unconstitutional and return the power of healthcare decisions back to citizens.
The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.
Biden is also requiring vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.
Biden’s order for executive branch workers and contractors includes exceptions for workers seeking religious or medical exemptions from vaccination, according to press secretary Jen Psaki. Federal workers who don’t comply will be referred to their agencies’ human resources departments for counseling and discipline, to include potential termination.
This is the first lawsuit in the country to be filed against the administration’s actions requiring COVID-19 vaccines.
In his brief, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich argues that the mandate infringes upon individual liberties, principles of federalism, and separation of powers.
“The federal government cannot force people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Biden Administration is once again flouting our laws and precedents to push their radical agenda,” Brnovich said.
The AGO argues the mandate violates the Equal Protection Clause by favoring migrants that have crossed into the country illegally over legal U.S. citizens. According to the AGO, the Biden administration allows migrants to decline the vaccine, protecting their freedom and bodily autonomy more than American citizens.
“There can be no serious or scientific discussion about containing the spread of COVID-19 that doesn’t begin at our southern border,” Brnovich said.
Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.