Arizona sued the federal government on Tuesday over President Joe Biden’s sweeping order to mandate vaccinations for federal employees and contractors as well as fine businesses that don’t enforce strict COVID testing for unvaccinated workers.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s lawsuit is the first of many lawsuits expected to hit the Biden administration over Biden’s plan to combat COVID-19.
“The federal government cannot force people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Biden Administration is once again flouting our laws and precedents to push their radical agenda,” Brnovich said in a statement. “There can be no serious or scientific discussion about containing the spread of COVID-19 that doesn’t begin at our southern border.”
“Under our Constitution, the President is not a king who can exercise this sort of unbridled power unilaterally. And even George III wouldn’t have dreamed that he could enact such sweeping policies by royal decree alone,” Brnovich added.
Brnovich’s lawsuit argues “Biden’s vaccine mandate violates the Equal Protection Clause by favoring migrants that have crossed into the country illegally over legal U.S. citizens. The Biden Administration allows migrants to decline the vaccine, protecting their freedom and bodily autonomy more than American citizens,” according to a press release from the Arizona attorney general’s office.
“Even President Biden’s own Chief of Staff Ronald Klain acknowledged the federal government lacks the legal authority to impose a COVID-19 mandate but is doing so anyway with this ‘ultimate workaround,’” the release continued, referring to Klain’s promotion of a tweet from NBC News anchor Stephanie Ruhle. Ruhle’s tweet said, “OSHA doing this vaxx (sic) mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate workaround for the federal govt to require vaccinations.”
Biden’s plan, announced last week, sparked a swift backlash from GOP governors who promised to fight the mandate and take the Biden administration to court. Over a dozen governors put out statements condemning Biden’s action.
On top of stiff legal challenges, Biden’s plan may also face hurdles from within his own administration. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), tasked with enforcing the order on any business with at least 100 employees, is reportedly understaffed and underfunded to take on such a massive enforcement effort. As The Daily Wire reports:
President Joe Biden recently announced that he has directed the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to draft a rule requiring that businesses with more than 100 employees compel their workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or force them to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing, but reports now indicate that not only employers, but OSHA itself, may have issues implementing Biden’s plan.
“[B]efore the first legal challenges against the mandate roll in, the Biden administration faces the more immediate conundrum of whether the chronically resource-strapped Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is up to the task of enforcing it,” Business Insider noted Tuesday.
“It’s reeling from deep staffing cuts under the Trump administration, and its fines are relatively low and often fought out in long court battles,” experts told the outlet.