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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING LEADS DEFENSE OF STATES’ RIGHT TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY

~ Herring leads coalition of 18 attorneys general in filing an amicus with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing the importance of state and federal regulations allowing limited access to private property in order to protect health and safety of public and workers ~

RICHMOND Attorney General Mark R. Herring is leading a coalition of 18 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing the importance of state and federal regulations that allow limited access to private property in order to protect the health and safety of workers and of the general public. The coalition filed today’s amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid.

 

“Keeping Virginia’s workers, and the public more generally, safe and healthy should always be our top priority,” said Attorney General Herring. “Statutes and regulations that allow states to inspect work sites, businesses, and other entities ensure that those working in and around those areas stay safe. This lawsuit has the potential to make it much harder for Virginia and other states to keep an eye on workplace safety, food safety, work sites, and other private access provisions, which is why I’m fighting to make sure those statutes and regulations stay in place.”

 

In their amicus brief, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues argue that state and federal statutes allowing states limited access to private property is essential to protecting the health and safety of workers and the general public. The amicus brief cites numerous examples of laws and regulations that could be impacted by this lawsuit including:

 

  • Federal statutes that allow for inspections of mines and railroad property i.e. to determine the cause of an accident, inspect equipment or records, etc.
  • A Virginia law that allows inspectors to check for asbestos in construction sites
  • A Tennessee law that allows health officials to inspect any site with a radiation source
  • A Nebraska law that allows state officials to visit and observe foster care facilities to make sure that foster children are adequately cared for

 

Attorney General Herring and his colleagues also argue that Petitioners’ proposed rule could threaten to invalidate numerous state statutes and local ordinances providing limited rights of access in a variety of circumstances. Among those are workplace and food-safety inspection laws, public access provisions, record-keeping inspection regimes, and environmental laws. Additionally, certain longstanding federal statutes might be called into question, such as provisions in the Mine Safety Act that allow periodic, unannounced inspections.

 

“We are incredibly appreciative of the leadership of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 16 other states, and the District of Columbia that have joined together to defend one of the cornerstones of California's Agricultural Labor Relations Act, the union access regulation, an important tool for workers to learn about their labor rights. The petitioners’ extreme legal position runs counter to the Court's precedent and threatens policies across the country protecting public health and welfare, consumer protections, workers’ rights and the safety of children. The California Agricultural Labor Relations Board appreciates the support in defense of constitutional principles that protect the public and further the public interest,” said Victoria Hassid, Chair, California Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

 

Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today’s amicus brief are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

 

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