In a ruling released Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty struck down vaccine and mask mandates for teachers working in federally funded Headstart programs. Masks for students have also been eliminated.
"The public interest is served by maintaining the constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals who do not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine. This interest outweighs Agency Defendants’ interests," Judge Doughty wrote in his ruling. "The public has a liberty interest in not being required to take a vaccine or be fired from their jobs. The public interest must be taken into account before allowing Agency Defendants to mandate vaccines."
Some background from the Liberty Justice Center:
Head Start programs provide school readiness support for children up to age 5 from families at or below the federal poverty level. Head Start agencies are local, largely nonprofit, or governmental providers that receive federal funding to provide services for these children. The providers received the new mandate on Nov. 30, 2021, when the Office of Head Start under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published an “interim final rule.” The requirement demands that teachers, staff and volunteers in Head Start programs be “fully vaccinated” by Jan. 31, 2022, or face losing their jobs. It also placed a universal mask mandate on all adults and children over two years old.
BREAKING: Victory! Head Start vaccine/mask mandate. permanently enjoined by U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana. ??— Liberty Justice Center (@LJCenter) September 21, 2022
BREAKING: A federal judge in Louisiana ruled that the federal government cannot require Head Start program teachers, staff and volunteers be vaccinated against COVID-19, nor can they require that adults and students wear masks. https://t.co/qH4Sd4K501 pic.twitter.com/JAauMhkYgj— Liberty Justice Center (@LJCenter) September 21, 2022
“Although President Biden recently declared that the ‘pandemic is over,’ the fight to restore Americans’ individual liberties is not,” Managing Attorney at the Liberty Justice Center Daniel Suhr said in response to the ruling. “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.”
The ruling comes three days after President Joe Biden told 60 Minutes that the "pandemic is over."
Joe Biden during an interview on 60Minutes says he believes the CoVid pandemic is Over. pic.twitter.com/B8CxdAJV1e— Real Mac Report (@RealMacReport) September 19, 2022