JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri’s attorney general has joined 24 other states in a lawsuit to stop a mask and vaccine mandate on Head Start students and volunteers.
“Head Start Programs provide much-needed resources for underserved communities, single moms, and other parents who may be struggling to provide care. Forcing children to wear masks all day is counterintuitive, as children have a very low risk of contracting, spreading, or becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. Further, forcing those children to wear masks all day could hinder crucial development,” Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a news release.
The states allege that the mandate is not only beyond the executive branch’s authority but also violates the Administrative Procedure Act’s Notice-and-Comment Requirement, the Congressional Review Act, the Nondelegation Doctrine, the Tenth Amendment, the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, the Spending Clause, and the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999.
The Biden administration instituted the mask rules for Head Start programs this fall as a way to help reduce new coronavirus cases. Cases have been rising across the country, and health experts warn the situation could worsen as the more contagious omicron variant takes hold.
Schmitt has engaged in a string of lawsuits challenging mask mandates and other coronavirus-related restrictions in Missouri and nationwide. The lawsuits include challenges to Missouri school mask mandates and vaccine mandates for health care workers and large companies.
The Columbia Board of Education voted to drop the district's mask requirements this month amid legal threats from Schmitt.