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Arizona Court Adds to Orders Blocking Contractor Vaccine Mandate

Jan. 27, 2022, 11:33 PM

An Arizona federal court joined a growing number of courts that have blocked enforcement of the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

Judge Michael Liburdi of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in Phoenix granted Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich request for a preliminary injunction against President Joe Biden’s executive order, shielding for now only Arizona companies and state employers that do business with the federal government. The shot requirement was set to take effect this month.

Claims against the state’s most populous city, Phoenix—which was added as a defendant to the September-filed lawsuit in November—were denied as the city later suspended its municipal employee vaccination requirement.

The federal contractor mandate was already halted by a Georgia federal court’s nationwide injunction, which the administration has appealed, as well as similar orders from other courts in lawsuits by conservative-led states. So far, four federal appeals courts are poised to weigh challenges to Biden’s order.

The final scope of Liburdi’s injunction remains unsettled as the judge gave the state’s attorney general until Feb. 1 to submit a proposed order listing those parties the state asserts should be enjoined and how, and gave the U.S. government until Feb. 7 to lodge objections.

If implemented, the Biden administration mandate would apply to roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce and affect companies such as Lockheed Martin Corp., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.‘s Google, and General Motors Co.

The case is Brnovich v. Biden, D. Ariz., No. 2:21-cv-01568, 1/27/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erin Mulvaney in Washington at emulvaney@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com