Texas sues the government over mandates for vaccinations

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday sued the federal government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and four other federal agencies over an “unlawful federal mandate for mandatory vaccinations” that will displace…

Texas sues the government over mandates for vaccinations

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday sued the federal government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and four other federal agencies over an “unlawful federal mandate for mandatory vaccinations” that will displace state laws.

According to the complaint, Paxton filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the mandate under President Barack Obama, a Democrat, “violates the First Amendment by making it a crime to refuse to allow others to force vaccinations on children who choose not to receive them.”

According to the mandate, children in federal child care and education programs must be vaccinated against diseases like measles, mumps and pertussis to stay at the centers. Specifically, the mandate, which was issued by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in August 2018, calls for “all children in this program, including those who are not vaccinated for a medical reason, to receive a medically appropriate immunization by January 1, 2019.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday sued the federal government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and four other federal agencies over an “unlawful federal mandate for mandatory vaccinations” that will displace state laws. (Laura Blank)

In response to the mandate, Texas followed through with the rollout of an “adoptable rates” monitoring system in 2017 that requires every child in a child care and education center to be vaccinated. The state also launched an education campaign informing parents about their choices.

“With this lawsuit, we take the federal government to task for its unconstitutional campaign of intimidation and force-feeding medical mandates,” Paxton said in a statement. “Last year, the federal government imposed mandatory vaccinations in federal child care programs. Thankfully, Texas has the right to make its own child care and education laws. The Department of Health and Human Services is out of step with the Constitution and our rights as free Americans.”

According to the complaint, the lawsuit alleges the “imposition of state-based criminal sanctions for voluntary refusal to vaccinate, whether by school-age children or those who work in child care and education programs is unconstitutional, null, void, and an unnecessary intrusion of governmental power into state areas and subjects, or in this case, healthcare.”

“Individuals are protected under the Constitution against a federal overreach that infringes on individual liberty and religious conscience,” the complaint adds.

Read the full complaint here.

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