Texas judge halts vaccine mandate for Head Start programs

by ian

Ian Patrick, FISM News

On Friday, federal Judge James Hendrix in Texas blocked a mask and vaccine mandate in that state’s Head Start program marking the latest strike from Texas Republicans against the Biden administration. Hendrix was appointed in 2019 by President Trump.

In the ruling, Hendrix said the mandates, which come from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “do not fit within the Head Start Act’s authorizing text.” He called the mandates “arbitrary and capricious” and ultimately supported the challenge to enforce an injunction against them.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to the news with glee, tweeting, “Texas just beat Biden again.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton responded similarly saying he had “just halted another illegal fed vax & mask mandate.”

The lawsuit was brought by Paxton and the Lubbock Independent School District against HHS and its Secretary Xavier Becerra. The plaintiffs attempted to disrupt the mandates in the Head Start program nationwide, but Judge Hendrix limited the ban to Texas only.

The plaintiffs argued that the HHS mandate goes against a Congressional act and that the parents should be the ones to make such a decision rather than the federal government.

Speaking to Fox News, Paxton said, “We thought that was a parental choice, not a Joe Biden choice, so we sued them, arguing that he didn’t have the authority – statutory or constitutional – to do this.”

Head Start programs provide services for the children and parents of low-income families to get them ready for school. The Office of the Administration for Children & Families provides funding to these programs in local communities, which are run by non-profits, schools, and community agencies.

Paxton also said this was “a win for the children of Texas for sure, given that parents should be making these decisions, not the Biden administration.”