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Federal judge in Texas orders halt on Biden’s vaccine and mask mandates

Buried in the Head Start program is a requirement for school staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and near-universal masking for both children and adults.

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Texas leaders on Friday scored a massive victory against the Biden administration’s mask and vaccine mandates after a judge in the US District Court - Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division, ruled for a halt in the conditions for funding for Head Start programs, which is ostensibly designed to provide education-related services to low-income children.

Buried in the Head Start program is a requirement for school staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and near-universal masking for both children and adults.

Per the ruling, Texas leaders including Gov. Greg Abbott argue that the Act “does not authorise such mandates, that irreparable injury would result from them that [the Department of Health and Human Services] failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act in adopting the conditions, and that the mandates violate various Constitutional doctrines.”

The court agreed with these arguments, finding that there is a likelihood the mandates do not fit within the Head Start Act’s authorisation and that the mandates are “arbitrary and capricious,” so it has preliminary enjoined their enforcement across Texas.

"Texas just beat Biden again," Gov. Abbott tweeted. "Another of Biden’s vaccine and mask mandates was just halted by a federal judge in Texas. The Court writes: 'It is undisputed that an agency cannot act without Congressional authorization.' That would apply to all of Biden’s orders."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who previously announced a lawsuit over the mandates earlier this month, chimed in to praise the ruling.

"I just halted another illegal fed vax & mask mandate," he said in a tweet. "Thanks to my suit(first of its kind in the nation), Prez Brandon is barred from using the Head Start Program to force vax & masks in TX—both of which this Admin embarrassingly admitted don’t stop Covid anyway! HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

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