The mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all federal contractors stands to lose Texas $7.3 billion in contract work if it is not overturned. Now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is requesting a temporary restraining order to halt the mandate.
According to Paxton’s motion, “Whatever President Biden hopes to achieve politically cannot be paid for by Texans’ livelihoods or the nullification of their Constitutional rights.”
President Joe Biden announced the vaccine mandate for federal contractors in September. Since then, protests at Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Union Pacific have all made news as employees fight against the expansive use of authority.
In October, Gov. Greg Abbott announced an executive order that would supposedly prohibit employer vaccine mandates in Texas, but his executive order lacked a viable enforcement mechanism and has been mostly ignored by federal contractors.
Thus far, Gov. Abbott refuses to call a fourth special session to legislatively address vaccine mandates in Texas, despite repeated pleading from lawmakers and the Texas GOP.
However, Attorney General Paxton filed this lawsuit against President Biden’s contractor vaccine mandate on Monday, saying, “The President’s blatant disdain for those who choose to not receive a vaccine will not be allowed to seep into the great State of Texas. Here, we protect individual liberties first and foremost, and Texans do not have to sacrifice their beliefs and their health to preserve their livelihoods.”
Paxton decries the major government overreach in his motion, stating, “In the name of ‘public health’ they would convert the federal government into a police power that can reach any aspect of American life—including forcing Americans to undergo medical procedures. Whatever short-term benefit Defendants purport to achieve through their Contractor Mandate, it cannot possibly outweigh the destruction of an American way of life that is fundamentally threatened by their unlawful methods.”
The motion was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division, where they will soon determine whether or not to grant the request.