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It Appears There's A Showdown Between Arizona Mayor and Governor on Vaccine Mandate

AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

On Friday night, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Fifth Circuit Court's stay of the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for private businesses of 100 or more employees, setting up a likely showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court. There's looking to be another showdown, though, over a vaccine mandate, in the state of Arizona.

As Adam Sabes reported for Fox News, also on Friday, Tucson's Mayor Regina Romero, a Democrat, earlier this week tweeted criticism of Gov. Doug Ducey's renewed executive order banning vaccine mandates in the state, except for health care institutions.

She also plans to defy the order and the statement noted that 99 percent of city employees have gotten vaccinated and/or been granted an exemption. 

The renewal in question came on Wednesday, which, in part read that "No person shall be required by this state, or any city, town or county to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine but a health care institution licensed pursuant to A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 4 may require the institution's employees to be vaccinated."

Romero also makes reference to Attorney General Mark Brnovich, in claiming that he "already told the Governor what he doesn't want to hear. He has no authority to preempt local actions through executive order." 

It's worth noting Sabes also reported that Attorney General Brnovich previously told Fox News that his office believes the mandate is "illegal" under state law.

From Sabes' reporting:

Previously, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich told Fox News that his office determined that Tucson's vaccine mandate for city workers is "illegal" under state law.

"Tucson’s vaccine mandate is illegal, and the city could be held liable for attempting to force employees to take it against their beliefs," Brnovich said in a press release obtained by Fox News. "COVID-19 vaccinations should be a choice, not a government mandate."

Gov. Ducey had already made it clear, back in a statement from September, that he would "push back" on the vaccine mandate, which he called "dictatorial" and "another egregious big government overreach."

While the vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more employees was announced on November 4, Biden hinted on September 9 that there would be mandates for private employees as well. On that day he had announced a vaccine mandate for federal employees and contractors. 

Ducey's September 9 statement mentioned that:

“Joe Biden has failed us on COVID. He ran for office on a promise to ‘shut down the virus.’ He has failed on this, much as he has failed on the border crisis and in Afghanistan. So now, President Biden’s plan is to shut down freedom.

“COVID-19 is a contagious disease, it is still with us and it will be for the foreseeable future. President Biden's solution is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way.

“Today marks another egregious big government overreach robbing Arizonans and all Americans of their fundamental rights to make their own decisions about their health and the health of their children.

“President Biden’s dictatorial approach is wrong, un-American and will do far more harm than good. How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined?

“The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective tools to prevent the disease, but getting the vaccine is and should be a choice.

“These mandates are outrageous. They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”

As Ducey's statement predicted, the mandates were taken to court. In fact, lawsuits were filed against the private businesses vaccine mandate the same day it was announced, though it will not go into effect until January 4.

When it comes to legal battles at the state level, specifically to do with executive orders like Ducey's, Florida and Texas have seen their own fair share of litigation. 

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