The Biden administration’s vaccine and mask mandate suffered another legal blow on Wednesday, when a federal judge in Louisiana ruled the government cannot force Head Start teachers, staff, and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or require that students and adults wear a face covering.
Teachers Sandy Brick of Louisiana and Jessica Trenn of Ohio, represented by Liberty Justice Center and Pelican Institute for Public Policy, filed the lawsuit in December of 2021 against the jab-or-job mandate.
“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,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty. “This interest outweighs Agency Defendants’ interests. 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. Although vaccines arguably serve the public interest, the liberty interests of individuals mandated to take the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any interest generated by the mandatory administration of vaccines.”
Head Start programs, which receive federal funding, help prepare young children from families at or below the federal poverty level for school. The mandate was announced last year in a Department Health and Human Services “interim final rule” requiring teachers, staff, and volunteers get jabbed by Jan. 31, 2022 or risk losing their jobs, and abide by a universal masking mandate.
The ruling permanently enjoins the vaccine and mask mandate in 24 states.
“This mandate is yet another example of the federal government’s relentless, illegal effort to control the private choices of Americans,” Daniel Suhr, managing attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, said in a statement.“The Biden administration does not have the authority from Congress or the U.S. Constitution to issue blanket vaccine and mask mandates.”
The ruling comes days after President Biden admitted the "pandemic is over."