Attorney General Mark Brnovich today filed an amended complaint expanding his lawsuit to stop the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional and illegal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, adding claims against the federal contractor and federal employee requirements. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is asking the U.S. District Court in Arizona to grant a temporary restraining order and nationwide preliminary injunction as soon as possible. This is a critical step to protecting the millions of public university employees, federal employees, and contractors who are now being forced to get their first round of the COVID-19 vaccine or be fired.
“Once a vaccine has been administered, it can never be undone,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “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.”
Under President Biden’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates (announced on September 9, 2021), private businesses with more than 100 employees, federal employees, federal contractors and subcontractors, and virtually all healthcare providers must receive the COVID-19 vaccine or lose their jobs. General Brnovich was the first attorney general to file a lawsuit against this unconstitutional policy in September 2021.
Federal Contractors and Employees
Today’s amended complaint adds new claims asserting that the COVID-19 vaccine mandates violate the constitutional rights of federal employees, contractors, and subcontractors and that President Biden does not have the legal authority to impose them. It also alleges that the mandates violate individuals’ statutory right to refuse vaccines available under Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) from the FDA.
Only one of the three COVID-19 vaccines, subject to President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, has been approved by the FDA (the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine). The other two available (manufactured by Moderna and by Johnson & Johnson) are not FDA-approved and are only available under EUA. Additionally, there is no evidence the Comirnaty vaccine is being distributed in the United States. A notice posted by the NIH in September confirms that “Pfizer does not plan to produce any [Comirnaty] product . . . over the next few months while EUA authorized product is still available.” The only Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine actually available is the prior Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 version, pursuant to an EUA.
The COVID-19 vaccine mandates will force many unvaccinated federal and contractor employees to resign. A leading trade publication covering the construction industry has predicted more than 40% of employees “…will quit and go to work for another contractor that does not have such a mandate.” In a tight labor market, these resignations will greatly hurt the productivity of the workforce and thus harm the economy.
Equal Protection Clause
In the original complaint, General Brnovich argues the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates violate the Equal Protection Clause by favoring migrants who have crossed into the United States illegally because they are not required to get the vaccine. Today’s complaint expands immigration-related claims, including issues of violating federal statutes regarding asylum claims and parole status.