Judge denies Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich's request to halt federal vaccine mandate
A federal judge has refused to halt President Joe Biden's vaccination orders for federal workers and contractors as Arizona Attorney General and Senate candidate Mark Brnovich asked.
Biden issued executive orders in September requiring COVID-19 vaccines for employees at federal agencies and federal contractors.
Brnovich, who is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate race next year, was hopeful a judge would issue a restraining order and injunction to prevent the rules from taking effect, though legal experts had said the president's rules were legally sound.
But U.S. District Court Judge Michael Liburdi on Wednesday denied the request, though he will allow the Brnovich to present new legal arguments in a new complaint to be filed by Nov. 19, according to the order.
Biden also issued requirements for companies with 100 or more workers who are not federal contractors or workers. Employees at those companies have the choice of being tested regularly for COVID-19 in place of a vaccine. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the rules for that policy Nov. 4, and it gives those workers until Jan. 4 to get vaccinated or comply by getting tested and wearing a mask at work.
Brnovich's office filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in September seeking a ruling that declares the new federal policies unconstitutional.
He said he believes that violates the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Brnovich filed an amended complaint in October adding claims against the rules requiring vaccination for federal employees and contractors to Brnovich's original filing.
"Millions of public university employees, federal employees, and contractors ... are now being forced to get their first round of the COVID-19 vaccine or be fired," Brnovich said in a press release discussing his lawsuit.
“Once a vaccine has been administered, it can never be undone,” Brnovich continued. “The COVID-19 vaccine mandate is one of the greatest infringements upon individual liberty, federalism, and the separation of powers by any administration in our country’s history.”
Reach reporter Ryan Randazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-4331. Follow him on Twitter @UtilityReporter.