Texas AG sues White House over vaccine mandate

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

The complaint asks a federal court in Galveston to declare the vaccine mandate unlawful, and to issue preliminary and permanent injunctive relief barring the mandate from being enforced.

The lawsuit says the administration is “using subterfuge to accomplish what they cannot achieve directly—universal compliance with their vaccine mandates, regardless of individual preferences, healthcare needs, or religious beliefs.”

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“Defendants effectively claim for themselves a general police power to control American life, infringing on states’ sovereignty and usurping the powers reserved to the states under the Constitution,” the suit continues.

Texas is the latest GOP state in the past couple of days to sue the Biden administration over the mandate for federal contractors.

The mandate will require all federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with no option for testing. The measure is expected to take effect Dec. 8.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisMore voters would pick Trump over Biden if election were held today: poll 17 Democratic state AGs back challenge to Florida voting limits The Memo: Media obsess over Trump's past as he eyes comeback MORE (R) filed a lawsuit in a Tampa federal court on Thursday seeking a preliminary nationwide injunction.

Earlier on Friday, Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempTrump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race Trump says matchup between Perdue and Kemp will be 'interesting,' stops short of endorsement The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer remains confident in Christmas deadline for Biden agenda MORE (R) filed a separate lawsuit challenging the mandate. Kemp is being joined by state leaders from Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.

Texas has notably taken a hard stance against vaccine and mask mandates. Its governor, Greg AbbottGreg AbbottDOJ sues over Texas's redistricting plan Sunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant Hillicon Valley —TSA to strengthen rail sector cybersecurity MORE (R), has also banned local governments from mandating masks, sparking months of legal battles between the state and local officials. 

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Earlier this month, Abbott issued an executive order banning any “entity” in Texas, including private businesses, from mandating vaccines. This conflicts with another upcoming regulation requiring private employees with at least 100 employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing. 

Paxton said in a statement that the administration “does not have the ability to strip individuals of their choice to get a vaccine or not.”

“If the President thinks his patience is wearing thin, he is clearly underestimating the lack of patience from Texans whose rights he is infringing,” Paxton said.