A Louisiana federal judge on Saturday blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for the Head Start program in 24 states.
It’s Louisiana Western District Judge Terry Doughty’s second injunction against a Biden vaccine mandate. The first blocked a shot requirement for health care workers where government insurance is accepted. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on that case Jan. 7.
Federal Judge James “Wesley” Hendrix issued an almost identical ruling for Texas on Friday.
Doughty’s ruling said the Biden Administration doesn’t have the power to issue the mandate without Congress, that it violates the administrative procedures act without proper notice and public comment and that it violates the 10th Amendment by infringing on states’ powers.
In his ruling Doughty acknowledges the ultimate decision will be made by a higher court, but contends: “This issue is important. The separation of powers has never been so thin.“
He also invokes former President Ronald Reagan while contending the vaccine mandate is a government overreach.
“In the immortal words of President Ronald Reagan, the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’,” Doughty wrote.
Any appeal of Doughty’s Head Start ruling would be sent to the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, which already upheld his ruling blocking the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in 14 states.
Head Start programs provide children ages 3 to 5 and their families at or below the federal poverty level with early childhood education and resources.
The Biden Administration’s order would require teachers, contractors and volunteers in Head Start programs to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 31.
Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed the lawsuit on Dec. 21, saying the Head Start mandate is “beyond the Executive Branch’s authority, contrary to law and arbitrary and capricious.”
“We’ applaud the federal court for recognizing this is the proper role of the states rather than the federal government,” Landry said in an interview with USA Today Network.
Other states in the lawsuit include: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; Arizona; Florida; Georgia; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Utah; Wyoming; and West Virginia.
Doughty was appointed by Trump and confirmed 98-0 by the Senate.