(The Center Square) – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has signed onto a legal battle against President Joe Biden’s mandate that health care industry workers get a COVID-19 vaccination or lose their jobs.
Brnovich announced Tuesday that Arizona signed on with 11 other states in a lawsuit that claims the mandate violates the Social Security Act’s prohibition on regulations that control the hiring and firing of health care workers, his office said in a news release.
The lawsuit also claims the mandate violates multiple federal laws, clauses and doctrines and the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“The theme of this Veteran’s Day Weekend also applies to our health care workers, who have been on the frontlines since the start of this pandemic. We don’t turn our backs on our heroes,” Brnovich said in a statement. “It’s our turn to protect their individual liberties and ensure that all Americans can continue to make their own choices regarding COVID-19 vaccines.”
The lawsuit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, says firing thousands of workers for their refusal to be vaccinated exasperates the current worker shortage that could endanger people in need of medical attention.
"The Vaccine Mandate causes grave danger to the vulnerable persons whom Medicare and Medicaid were designed to protect – the poor, children, sick, and the elderly – by forcing the termination of millions of essential “healthcare heroes," the complaint reads.
The attorneys general are seeking an injunction to the rule, meaning a judge could put an immediate hold on the requirement as the case is litigated.
The mandate – if upheld – applies to all full-time and part-time employees as well as volunteers and contractors at health facilities that receive either Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements. The regulation was issued earlier this month is estimated to affect 76,000 health providers and 17 million workers.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave providers until Jan. 4 to have all employees fully vaccinated.