For Immediate Release
September 22, 2022
Contact: Tony Mangan
Gov. Noem & Attorney General Vargo Praise Ruling on Head Start Vaccine Mandate
PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem and Attorney General Mark Vargo praised a Louisiana federal judge’s permanent injunction that blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for the Head Start program. The injunction was issued earlier this week.
“President Biden attempted to use the COVID pandemic as an excuse to expand federal power to an unconstitutional level. Thankfully, the court didn’t let him get away with it,” said Governor Noem. “This mandate would have taken away the Freedom of South Dakota teachers and negatively impacted our kids’ education as a result.”
South Dakota joined 23 other states in this lawsuit late last year. The mandate would have required teachers, contractors, and volunteers in Head Start Programs to be vaccinated by Jan. 31, 2022 or face the loss of jobs and programming.
Louisiana Western District Judge Terry Doughty had initially issued a temporary injunction in January, but Wednesday’s ruling was on the merits of the case. The Judge ruled that the President did not have the authority to issue such a mandate without the approval of Congress.
“This is an important decision because it reaffirms that the executive branch can’t issue such mandates without the approval of Congress,” said Attorney General Vargo. “We applaud the judge’s understanding about the need for checks and balances in our government.”
The lawsuit (Louisiana, et al. vs. Becerra, et al.) was led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. Besides South Dakota, other states joining the lawsuit were Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina; Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, and West Virginia.