After the Biden administration announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates for large businesses and federal contractors, Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to take legal action. Now he’s doubling down and telling agencies around Texas he’s willing to sue the federal government if they resist a White House order that stipulates federal contractors must be vaccinated by December 8.
The Houston Chronicle reported about the letter Paxton sent to state agencies earlier this month. In the letter, Paxton promises to uphold Greg Abbott’s executive order banning any government entity from issuing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
We will defend the State of Texas and its dedicated public servants from this federal overreach, and we hope that your agency will stand with us,” wrote Paxton. “We will support any agency that follows state law and seeks to resist the repressive funding conditions being unlawfully imposed by President Biden, but we note that any violation of state law may expose your agency and its principals to liability.”
Many state agencies and universities in Texas are currently struggling to decide whether to follow federal or state law for their employees. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, which is a federal contractor, recently walked back plans to place employees on unpaid leave if they refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine before the December deadline. Paxton spoke outside their headquarters during a protest over the vaccine mandate.
Fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates is just one way Paxton is distinguishing himself as the most anti-Biden Attorney General. This weekend in El Paso he referred to Biden’s presidential win as an “overthrow” and maintained the lie that Trump won in 2020.
Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).