Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — already at war with local officials over vaccine mandates — on Friday sued the Biden administration on Friday over its COVID-19 mandate for federal contractors.
The Texas lawsuit is similar to legal action in states including Florida and Georgia — and 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 Hill reported.
"The Biden Administration has repeatedly expressed its disdain for Americans who choose not to get a vaccine, and it has committed repeated and abusive federal overreach to force upon Americans something they do not want," Paxton said in a statement.
"The federal government 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.
"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 claimed.
Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis filed a similar suit in a federal court in Tampa on Thursday asking for a preliminary nationwide injunction, The Hill reported.
Abbott earlier this month expanded an executive order to block the vaccine mandate for any entity in Texas, including healthcare facilities and private businesses, The Texas Tribune reported.
About 53% of Texans have been fully vaccinated against COVID, The Texas Tribune reported.
In September, Biden issued a federal order mandating all federal contractors be vaccinated — a move that includes major airlines, some of which have headquarters in Texas. At the same time, Biden required private businesses with 100 or more employees to either mandate vaccines or provide weekly virus testing.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block Maine's vaccine mandate, a request that came from a group of healthcare workers who argued their religious liberty rights had been violated because the mandate didn't allow for such an exemption.
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