AUSTIN— Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for “its illegal and unconstitutional vaccine mandate imposed on private businesses,” his office announced Nov. 5.
The lawsuit takes aim at President Joseph Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan, regulations that require all private employers in the U.S. with 100 or more employees to either mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or require weekly testing. The administration issued the rules through an Emergency Temporary Standard implementing the mandate through the Department Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The Texas lawsuit challenges the validity of the ETS claiming it is outside of OSHA’s jurisdiction.
“The Biden Administration’s new vaccine mandate on private businesses is a breathtaking abuse of federal power,” Paxton said in a news release. “Bottom line: Biden’s new mandate is bad policy and bad law, and I’m asking the court to strike it down.”
In the lawsuit, Texas joins the State of Louisiana, State of Mississippi, the State of South Carolina and the State of Utah.
Paxton filed the suit with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and will follow up with a Motion for Stay, in which he will lay out the many statutory and constitutional reasons why the court should halt implementation of the ETS, the release said.
Gov. Greg Abbott said in a Tweet that the lawsuit looks to "overturn the illegal vaccine mandate," imposed by the administration.
"This mandate is an unprecedented overreach by the executive branch of the federal government and must be halted," he said.
The announcement comes a day after the Justice Department filed a new lawsuit against the State of Texas over certain restrictive voting procedures imposed by Texas Senate Bill 1.
The Justice Department and Texas are also ensnared in two high-profile lawsuits on the state's new abortion law that makes receiving an abortion after 6 weeks illegal. Arguments in those cases went before the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 1 and are awaiting a ruling by the high court.