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Arizona becomes first state to sue over Biden vaccine mandate, even though the text isn't out yet

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Jan. 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Bob Christie/AP
  • Arizona's attorney general is suing Biden's administration over his vaccine mandate.

  • It is "unconstitutional" he said in a statement, even though the exact text is yet to be published.

  • The AG also claimed that the mandate is unfair because it doesn't apply to undocumented migrants.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Arizona's Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its vaccine mandates, the first of several threatened cases from Republicans.

In the complaint submitted Tuesday, Brnovich called the policy is "unconstitutional," appearing to focus his argument on the claim that it unfairly does not apply to migrants who enter the US illegally.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced sweeping vaccine mandates for federal employees and federal contractors, and mandatory vaccination or weekly testing for all businesses with more than 100 employees.

However, officials did not publish the text and details of the rule, only giving a broad summary. It is unclear when the full text - against which any lawsuit would have to argue - is due to be published.

Brnovich's office said the suit was the first to attack the mandates.

Other states like Georgia, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, as well as the Republican National Committee (RNC), have expressed their intent to challenge Biden's mandates.

Biden on Friday in response said those who want to contest the policies should "have at it."

Brnovich argued that the mandates favor "migrants who cross the southern border illegally " who "are not subject to any vaccination requirements."

"This reflects an unmistakable-and unconstitutional-brand of favoritism in favor of illegal migrants," Brnovich's office said in a statement.

He argues that the move violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, his office said.

The Equal Protection Clause states that a government body cannot deny people equal protection under its governing laws, according to the Cornell law Legal Information Institute.

The argument - though in tune with GOP messaging focused on US border crossings - was not one predicted by legal scholars.

Those discussions focused more on potential government overreach and discrimination between different groups of US citizens, rather than between them and others. The scholars generally predicted that challenges to the mandates would fail.

The mandate is "one of the greatest infringements upon individual liberties, principles of federalism, and separation of powers ever attempted by an American President," Brnovich's office said.

The suit is against Biden, Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Troy Miller, acting commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Tae Johnson, acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, the move may be rushed.

The Labor Department and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency tasked with enforcing the mandate for employers of over 100 people, have yet to come up with the rule to enforce Biden's mandate.

"I don't think that this issue is a slam dunk either way. But it is a slam dunk that you can't file a lawsuit against a regulation that doesn't exist yet," he said, CNN reported.

Brian Dean Abramson, a vaccine law expert previously told Insider's Erin Snodgrass that the mandates are likely to be challenged, but he doesn't expect the rule will be suspended.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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