ARIZONA NEWS

Brnovich calls lawsuit ‘first torpedo’ in fight against Biden’s vaccine plan

Sep 16, 2021, 11:11 AM | Updated: 1:22 pm
(Facebook Photos/Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Joe Biden)...
(Facebook Photos/Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Joe Biden)
(Facebook Photos/Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Joe Biden)

PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich called his lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine plan “the first torpedo” in what could be a multistate attack against the policy.

“I would just say this is the opening salvo in what I think is a very, very important battle on not only public health but on federalism and the size and the scope of the federal government,” Brnovich told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.

Biden announced last week that employees at large businesses would be required to be fully vaccinated or take weekly COVID-19 tests as part of a new action plan to address the latest rise in cases and the stagnating pace of shots.

The rules Brnovich is challenging, which would impact 80 million workers, don’t exist yet. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that polices workplace safety, has been directed to write them.

Brnovich, a Republican running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022, said it wasn’t too soon to begin the legal challenges.

“I do think … that as soon as the administration tries to promulgate any rules, you will see additional lawsuits. And I know that I’ve talked to some of my colleagues, attorneys general in other states, and we already have some other legal theories,” he said.

“There’s things involving whether OSHA can even promulgate any of these rules. This is just the opening salvo; it’s the first torpedo in the water, so to speak.”

On Thursday, Brnovich joined 23 other Republican state attorneys general in signing a letter urging Biden to “reconsider your unlawful and harmful plan” and vowing to “seek every available legal option to hold you accountable and uphold the rule of law.”

Brnovich’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, names Biden and the heads of the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement as defendants.

It argues primarily that Biden’s plan is unconstitutional because it won’t apply to people in the country illegally, and therefore would be discriminatory against U.S. citizens.

“It is not a sensible argument,” Paul Bender, a constitutional law professor at Arizona State University, told The Associated Press. “It’s worse than nonsensical. It’s really laughable.”

Bender said if immigrants living illegally in the country are working without authorization at an employer covered by Biden’s vaccine rules, they will have to follow them.

Biden’s plan calls for all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly. 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.

Brnovich said that in addition to the discrimination issue, Biden’s plan is a federal infringement on states’ rights.

“Regardless of what you think about the vaccines, this notion that the president unilaterally can order something that may affect more than 100 million Americans is really abhorrent to the Constitution and the way the framers designed this country,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Twitter Photo/ADOT)...
KTAR.com

Fiery collision on Pima Freeway Loop 101 in Scottsdale leaves 1 dead

One person died in a fiery chain-reaction collision on a Valley freeway Sunday, authorities said.
11 hours ago
One Betta, a Dutch Shepard, sniffs a mask for the scent of COVID-19 at Miami International Airport ...
KTAR.com

Arizona officials expect ‘unusually high’ COVID-19 death, case report Tuesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services didn’t add new cases or deaths to its COVID-19 dashboard Sunday or Monday because of a scheduled system update.
11 hours ago
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Jim Cross

Average Valley home prices expected to reach $517K by late 2022, experts say

Home prices in metro Phoenix are still going up and real estate experts are projecting an average of $517,000 next year.
11 hours ago
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
Griselda Zetino

Arizona doctor says recovery from COVID-19 can last weeks, months after infection for some

An Arizona doctor said about 30% of people who’ve had COVID-19 will experience symptoms that persist, relapse or recur for more than 30 days after they were infected.
11 hours ago
(Facebook photo/America (The Band)...
KTAR.com

Good Life Festival with America, Don Felder coming to Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek next month

The Good Life Festival is set to return in November at its new home of Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek with iconic rock and roll band America headlining the event.
11 hours ago
Hector Alvarez (United States Marshals Service Task Force Photo)...
KTAR.com

US Marshals Service Task Force arrests Arizona man on charges related to weapons violations

The United States Marshals Service Task Force has arrested a man in Yuma based on a warrant issued for his arrest on charges related to weapons violations, authorities said Friday.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
...
BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
Brnovich calls lawsuit ‘first torpedo’ in fight against Biden’s vaccine plan