As Biden said, the pandemic is over.
A federal judge in Louisiana has just struck down a Biden administration mandate requiring staffers at Head Start child care facilities to be vaccinated and to wear masks.
U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty issued a permanent injunction against federal agencies enforcing Head Start vaccine and masking requirements.
In his ruling, Doughty found that the plaintiffs had satisfied the requirements to warrant a permanent injunction. He ruled that the plaintiffs — a group of Head Start teachers from across the country along with several state governments — faced a “substantial threat of irreparable injury” if the mandate wasn’t taken down.
“Plaintiff States will incur the increased cost of training and of enforcing the Head Start Mandate, will be unable to enforce their laws, and will have their police power encroached. The Court finds that this would be an irreparable injury,” Doughty wrote.
In December 2021, teacher Sandy Brick filed the lawsuit to stop the mandate and is represented by the national law firm Liberty Justice Center and the Louisiana-based Pelican Institute for Public Policy. Lawyers for these firms signal this is a big win for both the client and the country.
“Although President Biden recently declared that the ‘pandemic is over,’ the fight to restore Americans’ individual liberties is not,” said Daniel Suhr, managing attorney at the Liberty Justice Center.
“We will continue to fight for teachers like Sandy and the low-income students they serve until every illegal and unjustified mandate is wiped from the books. Today’s decision is a significant step toward undoing the injustice perpetrated against everyday Americans throughout the COVID-19 crisis.”
Sarah Harbison, general counsel at the Pelican Institute for Public Policy added, “Louisiana teacher Sandy Brick has been serving her students through adversity and uncertainty the last two years. Today, this decision vindicates her right to teach without sacrificing her freedom.”
The judge specifically noted that the agency violated the “major questions” doctrine in its policy.
Doughty also ruled that the mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made a “decision of vast economic and political significance.” The Supreme Court has previously ruled such a “major question” should be left for Congress to answer, he wrote.
“Congress has not clearly spoken to grant Agency Defendants the authority to impose the Head Start Mandate,” his opinion said. “Therefore, the Head Start Mandate violates the major questions doctrine.”
Other plaintiff states in the case are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
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