Arizona AG Brnovich adds city of Phoenix as defendant in vaccine lawsuit
PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is now suing the city of Phoenix as part of his lawsuit against federal COVID-19 vaccine policies.
In an amended complaint filed Friday, Brnovich, representing the state, also added the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and United Phoenix Firefighters Association Local 493 as plaintiffs in the suit, which was originally filed in September.
Brnovich, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022, also filed a new motion for a preliminary injunction on Friday. A judge rejected a previous requests but gave the attorney general the opportunity to submit a revised version.
Phoenix and the police and fire unions were added to the suit a day after the city announced it will require its employees, in most cases, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 18.
The city said it was instituting the mandate because it was considered a federal contractor and had to follow President Joe Biden’s executive order on vaccine requirements for employees and contractors.
Phoenix joins Biden and multiple federal officials on Brnovich’s list of defendants.
“Upon information and belief, a significant number of rank and file police officers and firefighters of Defendant City of Phoenix have expressed concerns over the mandate and will refuse to be vaccinated,” the amended lawsuit says.
“These officers and firefighters will face significant discipline, up to and including termination.”
Brnovich announced the changes to the lawsuit, which he first filed five days after Biden revealed plans for federal vaccine requirements on Sept. 9, in a Monday press release and press conference.
“Our first responders should never have to choose between their jobs, their livelihood, and their health insurance vs. an unconstitutional vaccine mandate,” he said during the press conference.
The initial lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of federal policy was filed Sept. 14 even though the specifics of Biden’s plan hadn’t yet been created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
On Oct. 22, after the rules were released, Brnovich filed a request for a temporary restraining order and an amended complaint expanding his legal argument in the initial lawsuit.
Arizona is also part of two multistate coalitions that have filed suits opposing Biden’s vaccine policies.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler contributed to this report.