AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the Texas Attorney General announced Friday that the state is suing President Joe Biden’s administration for its “illegal and unconstitutional vaccine mandate imposed on private businesses,” according to a news release.
This comes after the Biden administration announced Thursday that Americans who work at companies that have 100 or more employees will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested for the virus weekly starting Jan. 4, 2022. Officials expect the requirements to apply to approximately 84 million workers throughout the country.
As of Thursday, nearly 34 million individuals have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state, with 17,827,955 individuals being reported as fully vaccinated, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“The Biden Administration’s new vaccine mandate on private businesses is a breathtaking abuse of federal power,” Paxton said in the release. “(The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has only limited power and specific responsibilities. This latest move goes way outside those bounds. This ‘standard’ is flatly unconstitutional. Bottom line: Biden’s new mandate is bad policy and bad law, and I’m asking the court to strike it down.”
The state of Texas joins other states, including Alaska, Arizona, Nebraska and Wyoming, who have filed suit against the new vaccine requirement, according to the Associated Press.
In response to Paxton’s lawsuit, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the effort in a tweet Friday, stating that the mandate is “an unprecedented overreach by the executive branch of the federal government and must be halted.”
According to the release, Paxton filed the state of Texas’s Petition for Review directly with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Paxton will then follow up with a Motion for Stay, in which he is expected to lay out the “many statutory and constitutional reasons” why the court must halt the mandate’s implementation.
Throughout the Amarillo area, there have been numerous protests surrounding what some are calling “medical freedom for employees.” These events have occurred at Pantex as well as at Bell Helicopter. There is also an Amarillo March for Medical Freedom scheduled for Friday afternoon (Nov. 5) in downtown Amarillo, where individuals are expected to walk to the various regional offices of state lawmakers as well as City Hall, expressing their support for “medical freedom in the Texas Panhandle.”