After announcing Thursday that he will fulfill a promise to sue the Biden Administration over federal vaccine mandates being imposed on Wyoming’s workforce, Governor Mark Gordon has announced the next steps. His administration wants to stop what it believes is President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates.
Wyoming, as part of an 11-state coalition, filed its lawsuit Friday morning to halt the emergency temporary standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)which mandates vaccines on employees of private Wyoming businesses with more than 100 employees. A Petition for Judicial Review was filed in the United States 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday, and a Motion for Stay is expected to be filed early next week.
Additionally, Wyoming and several other states filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the previously filed suit against the Biden Administration regarding vaccine mandates for federal contractors. This coalition of states is asking the court to stop the Biden administration from taking any action to implement or enforce the unlawful federal contractor vaccine mandate.
“These legal actions are essential to stopping the unconstitutional mandates from the Biden Administration. This is a result of the hard work by our Attorney General,” Governor Gordon said. “I thank General Hill and her team for their efforts to protect the rights of Wyoming citizens and her industries. We have been preparing for this battle, and as promised, we are now joined in the fight to protect our civil liberties. Rest assured I am committed to using every tool possible to oppose these unlawful federal policies.”
Friday’s lawsuit challenges the Emergency Temporary Standard adopted by OSHA which requires private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate their employees get vaccinated or implement weekly testing and mask requirements. Non-compliant businesses could potentially face steep fines.
According to a declaration from Robin Sessions Cooley, Director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, a total of 106,462 individuals in Wyoming work for private and public employers with at least 100 employees, which means 41.7 percent of the total Wyoming workforce and 18.5 percent of the total population of Wyoming would be covered by the ETS.
The petition states, “This mandate is unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise. The federal government lacks constitutional authority under its enumerated powers to issue this mandate, and its attempt to do so unconstitutionally infringes on the States’ powers expressly reserved by the Tenth Amendment. OSHA also lacks statutory authority to issue this mandate, which it shoe-horned into statutes that govern workplace safety, and which were never intended to federalize public-health policy.”
The petition continues, “For over a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that policies on compulsory vaccination lie within the police powers of the States, and that ‘they are matters that do not ordinarily concern the national government.’
Until quite recently, the Biden Administration agreed. The White House stated on July 23 of this year that mandating vaccines is ‘not the role of the federal government.’ But on Sept. 9, that position underwent a dramatic reversal. The President announced several sweeping vaccine mandates, including a vaccine mandate to be issued by OSHA that applies to all employers who employ more than 100 employees. OSHA published this ‘emergency’ mandate two months later, crafting a post hoc justification for a policy that the President had already dictated that it would impose.”
The lawsuit is asking the court for an immediate stay pending judicial review.
The coalition of States in this suit along with Wyoming are Missouri, Nebraska, Montana, Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota.