JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has joined a multi-state lawsuit against the Biden Administration for imposing a mask and vaccine mandate on Head Start students and volunteers, respectively.
“Head Start Programs provide much needed resources for underserved communities, single moms, and other parents who may be struggling to provide care. Forcing children to wear masks all day is counterintuitive, as children have a very low risk of contracting, spreading, or becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. Further, forcing those children to wear masks all day could hinder crucial development,” said Attorney General Schmitt
. “Additionally, requiring volunteers, teachers, and contractors to be vaccinated by the end of January will certainly lead to job loss and program cancellation, harming those underserved communities who rely on the Head Start Program. We’ve heard from parents across the state about how these mask mandates are harming their children. The Biden Administration does not have the authority to issue these onerous mask and vaccine mandates, and as we have with all of his illegal edicts, we will fight them vigorously in court.”
Head Start provides much needed resources to primarily underserved children and their families. The program provides early childhood education and resources, including diapers, to families. Under the mandate, teachers, contractors, and volunteers in Head Start Programs are required to be fully vaccinated by January 31, which will lead to job loss and loss of programming, harming underserved communities.
The states allege that the Head Start Mandate is not only beyond the Executive Branch’s authority, contrary to law, and arbitrary and capricious; but it also violates the Administrative Procedure Act’s Notice-and-Comment Requirement, the Congressional Review Act, the Nondelegation Doctrine, the Tenth Amendment, the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, the Spending Clause, and the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999.
Joining Attorneys General Schmitt and Landry in in the lawsuit are the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, and West Virginia.
The full petition can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/head-start-complaint.pdf?sfvrsn=1ab46d94_2
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has been a national leader in fighting mask mandates in schools. Earlier this month, the Attorney General’s Office opened up an email inbox for parents to voice their concerns and share information about school districts continuing to enforce mask mandates and quarantine orders in light of the recent Cole County ruling. Since opening that email inbox, the Attorney General’s Office received over 7,500 emails and has sent out 52 cease and desist letters to schools, resulting in policy changes or planned policy changes in a number of schools across the state.
Further, Attorney General Schmitt has also been a national leader in challenging the Biden Administration’s unlawful federal vaccine mandates. Just yesterday, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office obtained a preliminary injunction halting the vaccine mandate on federal contractors. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office also recently obtained an injunction against the Biden Administration’s health care worker vaccine mandate. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office also joined a motion for emergency stay in the United States Supreme Court to halt the vaccine mandate on private employers.