Governor Gordon ramps up his fight to protect Wyoming people from federal overreach
November 11, 2021
CHEYENNE – Governor Mark Gordon is announcing the next steps his administration is taking to stop President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates. Wyoming as part of an 11-state coalition filed its lawsuit this morning to halt the emergency temporary standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which mandates vaccines on employees of private Wyoming businesses with over 100 employees. A Petition for Judicial Review was filed in the United States 8th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier Friday morning, and a Motion for Stay was expected to be filed early this week.
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the Biden Administration’s vaccine requirement for employers with 100 or more employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration had issued rules last week requiring those employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or face mask requirements and weekly tests.
The court ruled, “Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court.”
The suit was filed by several businesses and corporations along with the states of Texas, Utah, Louisiana and South Carolina.
Additionally, Wyoming and several other states filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the previously filed suit with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals 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.”
Today’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% of the total Wyoming workforce and 18.5% 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 September 9, 2021, 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 are Missouri, Nebraska, Montana, Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.