Georgia, 23 other states file lawsuit against Head Start vaccination, mask mandate

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Georgia is again pushing back against the Biden administration's COVID-19 mandates.

Georgia and 23 other states are asking the court to block the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families from requiring Head Start program staff, certain contractors and volunteers to wear masks and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 31.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr announced the court challenge against the Head Start vaccination and mask mandate Tuesday.

“This is just the latest and most egregious in a growing list of overreaches by this president,” Kemp said. “It is all the more troubling and inexcusable, given this mandate directly impacts and impairs our children.

“As with our prior lawsuits against the administration's unwarranted and inappropriate decisions, we will not rest in this fight to protect the rights and choices of Georgia's families, especially when it comes to our youngest citizens. We will not allow these policies to invade our classrooms, teaching the wrong lessons about the role of government to growing minds.”

The lawsuit contends HHS exceeded its authority and violated law by issuing the policy. The states claim the mandate is an exercise of legislative power in violation of the nondelegation doctrine, the 10th Amendment and a handful of other laws, which mostly assert delegation of power.

The lawsuit announced Tuesday is the third of its kind filed by Georgia. Georgia also filed and joined lawsuits against President Joe Biden's federal contractors and employer vaccination mandates.

“After taking unprecedented action to impose three reckless mandates on our nation's workforce, the Biden administration has doubled down on its efforts and is now targeting our state’s youngest learners,” Carr said. “The federal government is attempting to force Georgia families to choose between two equally problematic outcomes – either give up their right to make their own healthcare decisions or risk their child’s education.

“This unlawful power grab is merely the latest example of a disturbing pattern emerging in this administration, and we will continue to fight back to protect our state and our citizens.”

Tuesday's lawsuit also includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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