The State of Alabama this past weekend scored another legal victory against the Biden administration as a federal court awarded the state an injunction against its Head Start COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.
Attorney General Steve Marshall in late December joined 23 other states in filing a lawsuit in the Western District of Louisiana to block the administration’s mandates. The lawsuit was led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
The mandates would have forced Head Start program employees and volunteers to become vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, the mandates would have required Head Start pupils as young as two-years-old to wear face coverings for a majority of the time while attending preschool.
In reacting to the injunction, Marshall noted that the federal court order was handed down on New Year’s Day, something he advised to be of rare occurrence.
“Once again the federal executive branch has overstepped its legal authority to make laws and once again a federal court has agreed with the State of Alabama that such overreach is unconstitutional and should be stopped,” stated Marshall. “In a rare New Year’s Day order, the Western District Court of Louisiana enjoined the Biden administration from enforcing its vaccine mandate for Head Start workers and its mask mandate for toddlers.”
Marshall’s office stated that the Alabama Department of Human Resources and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, as well as the state’s Head Start teachers, staff, volunteers and students would have been affected by the mandates.
Marshall asserted that the legal victory would ensure that Head Start programs would be able to maintain rather than terminate staff members who chose to not comply with the mandates.
“The order affects 24 states, including Alabama, which brought suit against the mandate. This victory will help ensure that numerous Head Start programs will continue to operate rather than have to fire teachers and cut back services to children,” he added. “And this win will forestall the nonsensical and damaging practice of forcing masks on two-year-olds.”
According to the attorney general’s office, the court “bluntly noted” that the administration’s move to circumvent Congress in issuing the mandates was “more fitting a monarch than a president.”
“The issue in this case is not whether individuals should take the COVID-19 vaccine, but whether federal agencies can mandate individuals to take a vaccine or be fired,” continued Marshall. “In this Court’s opinion, the Executive branch has declared it has the authority to make laws through Federal agencies. A crossroad has clearly been reached in this country. If the Executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the Legislative branch to make laws, then this country is no longer a democracy—it is a monarchy.”
Alabama’s chief law enforcement officer indicated that the administration’s move to bypass Congress to implement the mandate violated the U.S. Constitution’s arrangement of separated governmental powers.
“This two-year pandemic has fatigued the entire country. However, this is not an excuse to forego the separation of powers. If the walls of separation fall, the system of checks and balances created by the founders of this country will be destroyed,” declared Marshall. “In the words of Thomas Paine, ‘Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.’ Common Sense (1776).”
The attorney general concluded, “This issue will certainly be decided by a higher court than this one. This issue is important. The separation of powers has never been so thin.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL