LINCOLN—Over the weekend, Judge Terry A. Doughty of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction stopping the Biden Administration from enforcing its vaccine and mask mandate on the Head Start programs in the following states: Louisiana, 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.
On December 21, 2021, Attorney General Peterson joined this lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s Head Start mandate. The mandate imposes unlawful requirements of masks on toddlers and COVID-19 vaccines for staff and volunteers in Head Start Programs.
“Once again, the Biden Administration has attempted to utilize a federal program beyond its intended scope to mandate vaccination. That is both a violation of executive constitutional boundaries and an abuse of citizens’ constitutional rights,” stated Attorney General Peterson.
Head Start provides much-needed resources to underserved children and their families. The program provides early childhood education and resources, including diapers, to families. Forcing teachers, contractors, and volunteers in Head Start Programs to vaccinate by January 31 will cost jobs and reduce programming.
The judge’s order concludes that the Head Start Mandate is beyond the Executive Branch’s authority. As the judge explained: “This two-year pandemic has fatigued the entire country. However, this is not an excuse to forego the separation of powers. If the walls of separation fall, the system of checks and balances created by the founders of this country will be destroyed.”
Nebraska is a party to four lawsuits challenging the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandates. Updates on the other three lawsuits can be found here.