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ReOpen San Diego files lawsuit challenging city of San Diego's vaccine mandate

Reopen San Diego holds rally outside of San Diego City Hall on July 30, 2021.
Alexandra Rangel
Reopen San Diego holds rally outside of San Diego City Hall on July 30, 2021.

A citizens group that opposes local COVID-19 restrictions has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging San Diego's vaccine mandate for city employees.

The suit filed Tuesday by ReOpen San Diego aims to block enforcement of the city's mandate, which the group alleges will "exclude an entire category of individuals from meaningful participation in city government" by way of barring unvaccinated city officials and volunteers from attendance at city meetings or business in city buildings.

The group alleges its suit represents "citizens of the city that are now barred from serving their city and fellow citizens as an elected official, a member of a commission or board, or even as a volunteer, if they have chosen not to be vaccinated for COVID-19."

The suit is similar to one filed last month in San Diego Superior Court by local first responders and the group Protection of the Educational Rights of Kids, which alleged the mandate presents a public safety concern if first responders were terminated or resigned en masse as a result.

RELATED: San Diego Unified to lift outdoor mask policy Wednesday

In a statement regarding the lawsuit, ReOpen San Diego called the city's mandate "an unconstitutional assault on democracy. It is discriminatory and interferes with a citizen's fundamental right to participate in the democratic process, including the right to elect representatives from all types of political persuasions."

In December, the group threatened litigation in a letter to Mayor Todd Gloria and the San Diego City Council if the mandate was not rescinded by the end of 2021.