by Kaelan Deese
September 15, 2021
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s administration’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in search of declaratory relief, marks one of the first legal pursuits after numerous lawmakers from Republican-led states vowed to challenge Biden’s executive order last week. The order mandates employers require vaccines if they employ more than 100 workers, giving workers the option to be subjected to weekly tests as an alternative.
“The federal government cannot force people to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Brnovich said in a statement. “The Biden Administration is once again flouting our laws and precedents to push their radical agenda. There can be no serious or scientific discussion about containing the spread of COVID-19 that doesn’t begin at our southern border.”
Brnovich also criticized the “illegality and incoherence of Defendants’ policies, [which] is also apparent in their differential treatment among immigrants,” citing a press conference during which White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the coming vaccine mandate does not include illegal immigrants.
I promised Arizonans that we would not stand for the Biden Administration's egregious federal overreach on vaccine mandates.
Today, we have filed the first lawsuit in the nation against the unconstitutional mandates. Arizona will not tolerate this assault on our sovereignty. pic.twitter.com/1eHAUX8GYs
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) September 14, 2021
“In a nutshell: unauthorized aliens will not be subject to any vaccination requirements even when released directly into the United States (where most will remain), while roughly a hundred million U.S. citizens will be subject to unprecedented vaccination requirements,” the lawsuit said.
The Arizona attorney general estimated that “one in five” immigrants arriving to the United States without authorization “are infected with COVID-19,” also pointing to a chart from Customs and Border Protection showing the heightened influx of border encounters under the fiscal year 2021, which stands at over one million, the most encounters seen in decades.
Brnovich, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, also pointed to White House chief of staff Ronald Klain for retweeting a statement about how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the “ultimate work-around” for a federal COVID-19 vaccination requirement, saying that it makes the “administration’s actions constitutionally suspect.”
An additional lawsuit over the vaccine mandate is likely to come from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who vowed to sue the Biden administration on Friday.
Biden’s plan , announced on Thursday, will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers whose employers receive funds from the federal government and that large businesses require vaccinations or weekly testing for their employees. Approximately 80 million U.S. citizens are expected to be affected.
In Arizona, there have been more than one million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 3.6 million residents fully vaccinated against the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.