Brnovich Takes Digs at Competitors in U.S. Senate Race for Not Doing Anything About Mask Mandates

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich took a shot at his opponents in the U.S. Senate race for not doing anything about the lingering mask mandate on public transportation. He tweeted the criticism while joining a coalition of 21 states suing the Biden administration over what he characterized as an “unconstitutional, ineffective, and ridiculously burdensome policy.”

His opponents frequently criticize him for inaction, but he has aggressively tackled various issues, including COVID-19 restrictions and mandates, border security, and election integrity, he told the Arizona Sun Times.

“While some people talk big, we’ve been in court from day one fighting Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates, lockdowns, and mask requirements,” he said. “While Mark Kelly and other candidates remain silent or take cheap shots, I am in court trying to protect Arizonans’ constitutional rights. You won’t have to guess where I stand when you send me to Washington.”

Brnovich, who has been endorsed by talk show host Mark Levin, cited some of the cases he has taken to the U.S. Supreme Court. When Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs refused to defend Arizona’s election integrity laws, he stepped in and successfully argued to uphold them in front of the high court in Brnovich v. DNC.

Last month, he argued again in front of SCOTUS in Arizona v. City and County of San Francisco. where he led a lawsuit with 12 other attorneys general against the Biden administration for dropping the Public Charge rule implemented in 2019 under the Trump administration. And in Isaacson v. Brnovich, he asked the Supreme Court to reinstate Arizona’s ban on aborting babies with genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome.

In a statement about the public transportation mask mandate lawsuit, he said, “This lingering mask mandate is another sad example of government that is out-of-line and out-of-touch. It’s time to relieve American families of this unconstitutional, ineffective, and ridiculously burdensome policy.”

The mandate was implemented in 2021, and applies to everyone over the age of 2 while they are using public transportation, including the hubs, such as train stations and airports. There are criminal penalties for violating it, including for daycare operators who fail to require a 2-year old to wear a mask in a van.

The attorneys general make three arguments. First, they contend that the mandate exceeds the CDC’s authority under 42 U.S.C. § 264(a), since those “Regulations to Control Communicable Diseases” do not authorize an economy-wide measure. The Supreme Court held seven months ago in Alabama Association of Realtors II v. DHHS that the CDC’s nationwide moratorium on evicting tenants in areas with COVID-19 surging went far beyond the intent of the statute, which was to “implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination.”

Second, the attorneys general alleged that the mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by failing to consider lesser alternatives, and not following the APA’s notice and comment requirements. They express concern for the health effects masks will have on young children, and point out, “[T]the CDC treated buses transporting toddlers to day care and interstate flights as if they present the same risk of spreading COVID-19 across state lines.”

And finally, they allege the mandate creates new legal requirements with criminal consequences, essentially giving the CDC police power with no oversight. They emphasized the fact that “even lockdown States like California have announced the end of their mask mandates.”

It is not unusual for political candidates to get involved in lawsuits related to issues they are championing. Leading Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who is brand-new to politics and not an attorney, joined a lawsuit with Brnovich and the Arizona Republican Party against Hobbs to stop unmonitored drop boxes and include signature verification procedures.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at the Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mark Brnovich” by Mark Brnovich. 



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