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Attorney General Morrisey Joins 24-State Lawsuit to Block President Biden’s Head Start Mandates

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a multi-state lawsuit against the Biden administration’s overreaching COVID-19 mandates, this time taking aim at the President’s unlawful requirements of masks on toddlers and COVID vaccine shots for staff and volunteers in Head Start programs.

“This is yet another unlawful attempt by the Biden administration to impose vaccine mandates upon workers and volunteers, which will hurt already-struggling staffs in underserved communities and likely impede child development,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This effort goes even further by requiring universal masking for everyone over the age of two who is associated with the program. This mandate will ultimately hurt, not help the working families, single parents, and grandparents raising grandchildren who desperately depend on programs such as Head Start.”

Head Start provides much-needed assistance to underserved children, including early childhood education and resources for families. Forcing teachers, contractors, and volunteers in Head Start programs to be vaccinated by January 31 will cost jobs and programing.

The states allege that the Head Start mandate is not only beyond the executive branch’s authority and arbitrary and capricious, but it also violates various federal laws passed by Congress.

This lawsuit marks Attorney General Morrisey’s continued pushback against overreaching federal COVID mandates. In November, his office joined a lawsuit regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration vaccine mandate; a request for a stay of that mandate is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also joined suits challenging federally imposed vaccine mandates on healthcare workers and federal contractors. The latter two suits both resulted in preliminary injunctions granted by federal courts.

West Virginia joined the Louisiana-led lawsuit with attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.