Wallace then asked Paxton how he would justify an executive order by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banning vaccine requirements and mask mandates in school districts if companies were to take care of their workers as they see fit. Paxton did not answer the question.
“The governor has the authority under state law in an emergency to respond to this type of problem. And so he has done just that,” Paxton said. “It is clear that it is his view that these mask mandates are unnecessary and that vaccine requirements are also unnecessary. So it is my job as a public prosecutor to go and defend what he has done and what the legislature has done. I am completely feel free to do so. ”
When he was pressured a second time, Paxton said his message in the clip was that Biden has no authority to issue such a mandate.
In a third time asking the question, Wallace called the position “inconsistent.”
“Are you saying that there is a difference between a mandate to get a vaccine from the federal government is different in terms of the ability to take care of their own, from a state mandate to not having vaccine mandates?” Wallace pressed.
“Your question is confusing,” Paxton replied, adding that the governor has this authority under state law.
Wallace then asked, “So he can tell private companies what to do? That’s OK, and they can not take care of their own.”
“I certainly agree that states have more authority over these areas than the federal government. The federal government has limited authority. And if Congress has not given that authority to OSHA – and I would even question whether Congress has authority “Yes, states have a lot of authority to deal with what is going on in their states. And I think that has been clear from the founding of our country,” Paxton said, concluding back and forth.
When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced its new workplace regulations for the mandate in early November, Paxton filed a motion for review with the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals, challenging the validity of the administration’s mandate. State attorneys from Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah joined the petition. More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed in various appellate courts by companies, religious organizations and states claiming that the vaccine or test requirement exceeds OSHA’s authority.
The U.S. Court of Appeals put a stay on Biden’s vaccine claim for companies with 100 employees or more last week, and the court upheld its decision Friday, dismissing a challenge from the administration.