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Arizona is first state to sue Biden administration over vaccine mandates

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TUCSON (KVOA) - It only took five days for the first lawsuit to be filed over the Biden administration's executive orders surrounding vaccine mandates.

The lawsuit comes from the State of Arizona.

"Our lawsuit right here is the first salvo, but it will not be the last salvo," Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.

The Biden administration is requiring vaccinations for federal employees, federal contractors and private businesses with more than 100 workers or those company's workers will be subject to weekly Coronavirus testing.

Brnovich claims this is a violation of the separation of powers.

"The Biden administration has no authority under the constitution to mandate vaccines, period," he said.

News 4 Tucson broke the news of the lawsuit to Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen during a news conference on Tuesday.

"I would have anticipated that somewhere within the current administration that we would have sued the Biden administration over this," Cullen said. "From a public health perspective, I am 100 percent aligned with what the Biden administration has proposed."

The White House tapped OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to handle developing the new temporary emergency standards when it comes to the mandate.

"OSHA has the power under federal law to create emergency temporary standards when a new hazard has been identified in the workplace," University of Arizona College of Law Professor Shefali Milczarek-Desai said. "OSHA created very industry-specific guidance, OSHA created emergency temporary standards for health care workers to ensure safety, a requirement for PPE, requirement for social distancing, masks."

Brnovich argues the White House knows its executive order is on shaky ground.

"The administration knows their actions are constitutionally suspect," the Arizona Attorney General said. "I think this is the first lawsuit of many lawsuits to come."

"I would remind people mandates in the vaccination space are not new," Cullen said.

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Eric Fink

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