ARIZONA NEWS

With federal vaccine rules released, Arizona AG Brnovich filing another lawsuit

Nov 4, 2021, 9:42 AM | Updated: 10:54 am
Arizona Attorney Mark Brnovich, left, (Twitter Photo/@GeneralBrnovich) and President Joe Biden (Get...
Arizona Attorney Mark Brnovich, left, (Twitter Photo/@GeneralBrnovich) and President Joe Biden (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Thursday he will file another lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine or test policy now that the rules have been finalized.

The new Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations mandate that companies with at least 100 employees require unvaccinated workers test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week and wear a mask while in the workplace starting Jan. 4.

Brnovich, who said his new lawsuit will be filed Friday, didn’t explain the basis of his legal argument but issued the following statement in a press release:

“When faceless government bureaucrats dictate what you must inject into your body, that’s the furthest thing in the world from a safe workplace. The government doesn’t get to be your nanny, and it’s certainly not your doctor.”

Biden framed the issue as a choice between getting more people vaccinated or prolonging the pandemic.

“While I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary, too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good,” he said in a statement.

Seema Nanda, the top legal official for the U.S. Department of Labor, which includes OSHA, says established legal precedent allows rules that keep workplaces safe and that those rules pre-empt state laws.

The new requirements, which Biden first previewed in September, will apply to about 84 million workers at medium and large businesses, although it is not clear how many of those employees remain unvaccinated.

Five days after Biden’s Sept. 9 announcement, Brnovich filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the policy, even though the specifics of the plan hadn’t yet been created.

“Our lawsuit right here is the first salvo in pushing back against the federal government’s vaccine mandates, but it will not be the last,” the Republican attorney general, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022, said at the time.

On Oct. 22, Brnovich filed a request for a temporary restraining order and an amended complaint expanding his legal argument in the initial lawsuit.

Thursday’s press release said a hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for next week.

Republican governors or attorneys general in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana and South Dakota also said Thursday they would file lawsuits against the policy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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With federal vaccine rules released, Arizona AG Brnovich filing another lawsuit