"Like all of his other unlawful attempts to impose medical decisions on Americans, Biden’s overreaching orders to mask two-year-olds and force vaccinate teachers in our underserved communities will cost jobs and impede child development," Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement Tuesday. "If enacted, Biden’s authoritarianism will cut funding, programs, and childcare that working families, single mothers, and elderly raising grandchildren rely on desperately."
The lawsuit comes in response to a set of new rules issued by the Biden administration last month that require children over two years old in Head Start programs to wear masks, while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is requiring staff, contractors and volunteers in the program to be vaccinated by the end of January.
The 25 states are seeking to put a halt to enforcement of the mandate, claiming that it exceeds the administration's authority and violates the Congressional Review Act and the Tenth Amendment.
"Our Nation’s children have faced enough setbacks and difficulties during the last two years; they cannot afford another government attack on their development," Landry said. "My office has had great success in blocking Biden's mandates on many hard-working Americans, and we will work tirelessly to achieve the same victories for toddlers and teachers."
Joining Louisiana in the effort are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming and West Virginia.
The federally funded Head Start programs at the center of the lawsuit are designed to prepare children up to five years old for school while also providing services and support to low-income families with children.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has joined the lawsuit, expressed a similar sentiment earlier this month.
"I will not allow Texans to be coerced into getting a vaccine because the federal government is giving them an ultimatum to choose between their health or their child’s preschool education," Paxton said. "These unconstitutional mandates have no place in our country, and they are not welcomed here in Texas."