January 14, 2022 |

You can’t win them all. The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two rulings Thursday on Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates. The rulings amount to a split decision for the White House. Employees of private businesses earned a big win over their personal healthcare decisions with the court blocking federal enforcement of the OSHA emergency rule. The justices came down on the other side of the issue on the lawsuit over the mandate for healthcare facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid. The Supremes allowed the mandate on federally funded healthcare workers to take effect nationwide.

The decision on the OSHA mandate was 6-3, with Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan in the minority. The CMS medical mandate broke 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining the three Democrat appointees.

Wyoming was a plaintiff in both cases. Reactions in Cheyenne were as mixed as the rulings themselves. Governor Mark Gordon said he was “delighted” that the court recognized that the OSHA mandate on private businesses was a “blatant example of federal overreach.”

The governor expressed disappointment with the conclusion on the CMS vaccine mandate, saying in a statement that healthcare workers should not be forced to choose between the jab or their job. How the mandate will impact Wyoming’s healthcare workforce is still unknown. The governor said his office is reviewing the possible effects. Some states are putting infected healthcare workers on shifts to make up for staffing shortages from staffers who quit rather than comply.

The reactions at the White House were the opposite than they were in Cheyenne and other state capitols that had sued the president. In statements, Biden celebrated the decision on the CMS mandate and said he was disappointed with the OSHA ruling.

The challenges were heard in oral arguments before the High Court one week ago.

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