By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon is continuing to prepare a legal challenge against President Joe Biden’s proposed vaccine mandate.
Gordon and Attorney General Bridget Hill are preparing Wyoming’s legal challenge to the mandate when they are finalized. However, the administration has not yet issued any specific policies that can be challenged in court.
“Four weeks ago, when the president issued his announcement regarding vaccine mandates, I immediately instructed Attorney General Hill to prepare for legal action to oppose this unconstitutional overreach,” Gordon said. “Attorney General Hill has begun that mission and is continuing to strengthen alliances, improve potential arguments, and consider appropriate strategies.”
In September, Biden announced that federal workers, health care workers and employees at companies that employ more than 100 people will have to be vaccinated against coronavirus or be tested for the illness weekly. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be responsible for levying fines against companies that do not comply with the mandate.
Gordon also noted that a joint letter from 24 attorneys general explained that the president’s call for a vaccine mandate is broad, inexact and uses a rarely-used provision in federal law that allows it to be effective immediately.
“This coalition of Attorneys General is well-prepared to fight the Biden administration in courts when the time is right, and I am committed to using every tool available to us to oppose federal rules, regulations, and standards whenever they overreach. We are prepared to act promptly once these mandates are finally issued,” Gordon said. “Wyoming will not stand idly by to see any erosion of the constitutional rights afforded our citizens and their industries.”
As the state prepares for its legal battle with the federal government, Gordon stressed that as a conservative Republican, he stands for smaller government that is closest to the people.
“Government must resist the temptation to intrude in private sector interests,” Gordon said. “It is neither conservative nor Republican to replace one form of tyranny with another. Doing so is antithetical to our American form of government, even if it is for something we like. I will stand firm against unconstrained governmental overreach regardless of where or when it occurs.”
Wyoming legislative leadership has initiated a poll of members on whether they would hold a special session later this month to address the mandate.
Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, previously said it would likely be conducted via video conferencing instead of in-person as the cost savings would be significant.
Driskill previously told Cowboy State Daily that he envisioned a two- to three-day session where legislators would focus on strategies to fight the president’s mandate which would, in effect, force thousands of Wyoming workers to receive a COVID vaccine or be fired.