Last week, Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced he is asking for a temporary restraining order against the COVID vaccine mandates issued by the Biden administration.
The Attorney General Office filed an amended complaint to expand the previous lawsuit to stop what they call the “unconstitutional and illegal” COVID-19 vaccine mandates. This amended complaint adds claims against the requirements for federal contractor and federal employees, according to a press release last Friday.
The Vaccine Mandates: Get Vaccinated or Be Fired
The Biden COVID-19 vaccine mandates were announced on September 9, first affecting private businesses with more than 100 employees, federal employees, federal contractors, and healthcare workers. These mandates require the vaccine, or people may start losing their jobs. This vaccine mandate impacts millions of workers across the country, including those that work at an AZ local business.
Federal employees are mandated to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 22. There’s no alternative for weekly testing. Full vaccination can take weeks, depending on which vaccine people get, as people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after completing their vaccinations (two doses for Pfizer and Moderna or one dose for Johnson&Johnson). This means that most federal employees need to have begun the process by now to be fully vaccinated by the deadline.
Employees at a company with more than 100 employees are required to be fully vaccinated or get tested weekly. There is no deadline announced yet for when this must be implemented by large employers across the country. Many businesses are encouraging their employees to be prepared and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The Arizona Lawsuit: Immigration & Economic Concerns
Arizona’s was the first Attorney General Office to file a lawsuit against the vaccine mandates. The initial lawsuit, filed one week after the announced mandates, has since been expanded.
There are several components to the lawsuit, but all point to the potential legal issues that the federal government may face when enforcing vaccine mandates such as these. It points to two major areas of concern for Arizona when it comes to vaccine mandates: illegal immigration and the state’s economy and labor force.
This lawsuit focuses on the differences between the mandates and the lack of any mandate for people entering the country illegally from the southern border. The lawsuit argues that the mandate violates the Equal Protection Clause, favoring migrants who have come into the country illegally over American citizens in Arizona.
More than 160,000 migrants have been released into the country recently, with no mandatory vaccine requirement and no consistent testing requirement along the border.
Another component to the lawsuit cited surveys stating that 85 percent of businesses say a vaccine mandate would make retaining employees more difficult and 89 percent of businesses say that some employees would quit. When there is already a labor shortage, AZ local businesses may be concerned about what mandates like these would mean for hiring and retaining their staff members.