November 15, 2021 |
Republican governors have put a big piece of Biden’s vaccine mandate in check for now. A lawsuit filed in Texas over the OSHA emergency requirement won round two in a federal appeals court on Friday.
Also on Friday, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed the only bill that survived the gauntlet of last month’s special legislative session convened to deal with federal mandates the forcing COVID-19 drugs on people who don’t want them. HB 1002 provides $4 million in funding to the governor for legal challenges against the mandates. Fighting the Biden administration in court over the constitutionality of the forced jabs was ultimately the only path lawmakers saw as a way to protect Wyoming citizens from the politics of the pandemic.
The state has joined three lawsuits that challenge what the governor calls the unconstitutional overreach of the federal government.
Wyoming is suing the Biden administration for imposing the shots on federal contractors and their employees. Another challenges OSHA’s emergency standard which forces employees of private businesses with over 100 employees to comply. The third seeks to prevent the Biden administration from imposing the shots on healthcare workers.
The lawsuits were filed in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Saint Louis, which has not ruled yet on Wyoming’s request for an injunction against implementing the OSHA rule. All of the action has been the in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, where Texas filed its own lawsuit against the Biden administration over the forced jabs. On Friday, the judges upheld their original order from a week earlier blocking OSHA from enforcing the mandate on companies.
The three judge panel rejected a request from Biden’s Department of Justice to lift the injunction. In denying the request, the judges called the constitutionality of the mandate dubious, and its “sledgehammer approach” careless. The judges noted the rule does not consider different levels of risk between individual workplaces and workers.
The judges also questioned how much of an emergency actually exists, noting OSHA took two months to develop the rule after Biden threatened to force the jab on workers. The mandate will stay blocked until after the court conducts a judicial review to determine if a permanent injunction will be granted.
In a concurring opinion Friday, one of the judges wrote: “Whether Congress could enact such a sweeping mandate under its interstate commerce power would pose a hard question. Whether OSHA can do so does not.”
The judges said that a person’s choice to remain unvaccinated and untested is an individual decision that “falls squarely with the States’ police power,” not Washington’s. At least 26 states initiated legal challenges against the OSHA rule in different federal courts.