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Arizona Becomes First State to Sue Biden Administration Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
Arizona’s attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to invalidate President Biden’s latest COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers and large companies, becoming the first state to mount a legal challenge to the administration’s newest rules.
In a 14-page complaint filed with a federal district court in Arizona, Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued Mr. Biden’s new vaccine requirements unconstitutionally discriminate against U.S. citizens because undocumented immigrants apprehended by federal law enforcement are not subject to a federal vaccination requirement.
While the details of the policies are still being worked out and yet to be made public, the attorney general said they are an “egregious” violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
Judges Temporarily Block Vaccine Mandates for NYC Teachers, NY Medical Workers
Two court rulings on Tuesday could have big impacts on New York vaccine mandates.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Aug. 23 ordered New York City public school teachers and staff must get vaccinated for the new academic year.
The city’s mandate said the Department of Education employees had until Sept. 27 to get at least one dose of the vaccine.
New York Supreme Court Judge Laurence Love on Tuesday issued a restraining order against the mayor’s mandate, temporarily blocking the city from enforcing it. The ruling came after several municipal unions sued the city.
U.S. Travel Ban: Are Vaccine Passports the Reason for Stalling?
The use of vaccine/health passports for travel in the U.S. received two sources of support this week. One was in the form of a new bill heading to the House of Representatives (asking for all plane and train travelers in the U.S. to show proof of their COVID-19 health status) and the other was from Dr Fauci, declaring his support for banning unvaccinated Americans from flying.
Indeed, it has been reported that the White House is only considering reopening travel up to EU and U.K. travelers if people can show proof of vaccination.
Questions Linger on Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors
Contracting experts have additional questions about the vaccine mandate for federal contractors ahead of the supplemental guidance expected to be released later this month.
President Biden issued an executive order on September 9 requiring federal contractors, as well as federal employees, to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. The order outlines what should be implemented over the next month and how, but the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force will issue supplemental guidance by September 24 that will further explain the requirements and any exceptions.
Australians ‘Complacent’ to Rapid Growth in Digital Surveillance
Saudi human rights activist and author Manal al-Sharif says Australians are complacent about the rapid growth in digital surveillance and the impact of tech and media monopolies on freedom of speech.
Speaking on an Electronic Frontiers Australia webinar, Ms al-Sharif discussed the dangers of “surveillance capitalism” and the weaponisation of social media, along with the growing electronic surveillance powers in Australia.
U.S. Citizens Are Disgruntled by Extent of State Surveillance at Home
The U.S. surveillance on its citizens is common knowledge yet the way the U.S. government goes about spying and how it uses its surveillance data against the ones it targets is controversial.
A poll carried out in mid August has found that more Americans were against the government’s intrusive surveillance programs than ever before.
The poll was conducted by the Associated Press NORC centre for public affairs research with over 1700 American adults participating.
According to the poll 46% of Americans say that they oppose the U.S. government responding to threats against the nation by reading emails sent between people outside of the US without a warrant.
U.N. Urges Moratorium on Use of AI That Imperils Human Rights
The U.N. human rights chief is calling for a moratorium on the use of artificial intelligence technology that poses a serious risk to human rights, including face-scanning systems that track people in public spaces.
Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, also said Wednesday that countries should expressly ban AI applications which don’t comply with international human rights law.
Applications that should be prohibited include government “social scoring” systems that judge people based on their behavior and certain AI-based tools that categorize people into clusters such as by ethnicity or gender.
AI-based technologies can be a force for good but they can also “have negative, even catastrophic, effects if they are used without sufficient regard to how they affect people’s human rights,” Bachelet said in a statement.
Thousands of State Workers Seek Exemptions to Washington Vaccine Mandate
Workers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, or lose their jobs unless they have either a medical or religious exemption.
The U.S. Makes Coronavirus Vaccinations Mandatory for New Immigrants
People seeking to become “lawful permanent residents” — or green card holders — have permission to live in the United States and eventually seek citizenship. Applicants for permanent residency must undergo a medical examination.
The new requirement for those seeking permanent U.S. residency is in line with President Biden’s new vaccine mandates for federal workers and contractors. The Pentagon has announced that active-duty military personnel also must be vaccinated.
California Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Vaccine Mandate, Says Government Lacks ‘Authority’
“Over the past couple of weeks, the idea of forced vaccination has caused much concern across the entire country,” Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said in a statement released Monday. “I will not enforce the vaccine mandate on Sheriff’s Department employees.”
“The government has no ability and no authority to mandate your health choices,” he said. “As your sheriff, I have an obligation to guard your liberty and freedom.”