Texas scored another win against Joe Biden and the federal administrative state in federal court on New Year’s Eve. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hailed the judgment as a triumph for the state’s youngsters. Judge James Wesley Hendrix of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas overturned the Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine and masking restrictions for federal Head Start programs.
The Head Start mandate requires all children above the age of two to wear masks, and the Department of Health and Human Services expects all staff, volunteers, and contractors to get vaccinated by the end of this month.
Paxton told Fox News that Texas believes that parents should make such decisions, and they should not be “a Biden choice.” He said the state brought the lawsuit because Biden does not have the statutory or constitutional authority to impose the rules. Paxton said that he expected parents would be “glad they get to make the decision” about masking and vaccines for their children.
The judge’s opinion said that it was undisputed that a federal agency cannot act without congressional authorization. The legal question presented is whether Congress ever gave authority to HHS to impose the rules.
Paxton said that even though he is sure the administration will appeal, he thinks they should “lay down the sword” and let the court’s decision stand. He added that even though they should “stop jabbing at parents and kids,” they appear to continue to demand that the federal government should make the decisions.
The judge also concluded that there is a “substantial likelihood” that the Head Start mandates are not covered in the agency’s authoring text. HHS also failed to follow the rules set out in the Administrative Procedures Act in setting up the mandates. In granting the injunction against the mandates until a final hearing in the case, he said that the mandates are “arbitrary and capricious.”