November 8, 2021 |
Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate didn’t make it through the weekend. It ran into a legal roadblock on Saturday.
OSHA released its long-anticipated emergency order on Thursday. The lawsuits started dropping on Friday. Among them is the one with Wyoming’s name on it. Texas scored a direct hit. On Saturday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the mandate, citing “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”
Biden Administration officials made the Sunday TV news rounds defending requirements that over half of the states are challenging as illegal. Among the president’s defenders was White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain.
Klain, appearing on Meet the Press, inadvertently made the argument Wyoming makes in its lawsuit. Vaccine mandates, if they are legal at all, are a state matter. At least 26 states have filed legal challenges against the White House. Private companies are also filing lawsuits.
We’ll look at the Wyoming lawsuit. It was filed Friday in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Wyoming joined 10 other states in calling the mandate a “power grab sweeping in scope.” The 44-page lawsuit alleges 12 separate counts of illegal and unconstitutional rulemaking by the executive branch. They asked the court to declare the mandate invalid and prohibit its enforcement.
Under Executive Order 14042, one-fifth of the U.S. workforce is under the gun to get the jab. This includes federal contractors as well as employees of private companies with 100 workers or more. People who have been infected with COVID-19 are not exempt. Neither are employees who work for an impacted company remotely from home and might never see co-workers or visit worksites that fall under the mandate.
Nationwide, nearly 100-million workers are targeted, including 17 million in the healthcare industry. In Wyoming, about 106,000 people fall under the mandate. This represents about 42 percent of the workforce and 18 percent of the population, according to a state report.
The deadline for the forced jab has moved several times since then. It is now set for January 4th, of next year.
The lawsuit filed calls the federal requirement “unconstitutional, unlawful and unwise.” The attorney generals also argue that the mandate will cost their states jobs and strain social safety net systems as people leave the workforce rather than comply with the risky inoculation.
The heart of the lawsuit is a 10th Amendment argument that the Biden Administration has illegally usurped powers belonging exclusively to the states. The legal filing states, “Neither Article II of the U.S. Constitution nor any act of Congress authorizes Defendants to implement their mandate.” Along with Biden, the lawsuit names as defendants nine other federal officers and the agencies involved in writing, implementing or funding the emergency rule. The 12-count lawsuit also alleges that the expenditure of tax dollars spent to implement Executive Order 14042 violates the Procurement Policy Act. The Biden administration also failed to publish the orders and guidelines in the federal register or take comment, violating the Administrative Procedures Act.
In other words, the federal government is operating outside its lanes when it thinks it can enact, monitor and enforce a sweeping vaccine mandate.
Count Ten of the lawsuit states that even Congress doesn’t have the power to issue a mandate that affects such a broad spectrum of the national economy. “The power to impose vaccine mandates, to the extent that any such power exists, is a power reserved to the state,” the lawsuit argues.
Like other states, Wyoming joined the lawsuit against to protect its various sovereign interests, including its obligation to protect its citizens.
The lawsuit shined a light on the inability of Wyoming lawmakers to pass meaningful legislation during the special session. The illegal mandate usurps a power reserved for states. In doing so, the attorneys general write, the federal government makes it impossible for states to pass laws in defense of their residents and industries.
The power grab is hard to stop. The feds hold the trump card with the supremacy clause. They also control significant financial leverage over the national economy. By threatening to withholding federal funding or contracts, the lawsuit alleges, Washington is trying extort – “coopt” is the word used in the lawsuit – states into enforcing an unconstitutional federal policy that is contrary to the private interests of their businesses and the well-being residents.
The lawsuit states that the predictable consequence of the Biden mandate is that employees will be fired or forced to quit their jobs. The financial well-being of those individuals and with their families, not to mention the businesses they leave, ultimately “will inflict economic disruption of the States’ economies as a whole.”
Wyoming’s attorney general wrote in the lawsuit that the university in Laramie will be hard hit by the mandate. At a time of statewide budget cuts, the university will face increased costs related to enforcing the compulsory vaccine on contractors and subcontractors.
The other states suing the Biden administration over the forced jab are Missouri, Nebraska, Montana, Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The lawsuit, like the one in Texas, asks the court for an immediate stay on the mandate pending a judicial review. In Texas legal case, the 5th Circuit asked the White House to file its initial response with the court by this afternoon.