Texas AG Ken Paxton files suit over COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says he has filed suit against the Biden administration over federal employees being required to vaccinated against COVID-19.

Paxton announced the lawsuit as an effort to "stop its efforts to force federal contractors’ employees to choose between being vaccinated for COVID-19 against their will or risk losing their jobs," according to a release from his office.

"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," Attorney General Paxton said. "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." 

This lawsuit comes after ten other states filed a lawsuit Friday to stop Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, arguing that the requirement violates federal law.

Attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming signed on to the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal district court in Missouri.

The states have asked a federal judge to block Biden’s requirement that all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated against the coronavirus, arguing that the mandate violates federal procurement law and is an overreach of federal power.

Another group of states led by Georgia also announced Friday that they would file a similar federal lawsuit in that state to try to block the contractor requirements. Other states that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said are joining the case include Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, West Virginia and Utah, as well as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

Florida filed a separate lawsuit against the federal mandate on Thursday. That lawsuit also alleged the president doesn’t have the authority to issue the rule and that it violates procurement law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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