By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Several top Wyoming officials celebrated the news Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court halted the implementation of the federal vaccine mandate as it applied to workers at large companies.
While the court did allow the mandate requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID to take effect, it blocked the mandate that worker at companies employing more than 100 people get mandates or regularly tested for the coronavirus.
“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category,” the unsigned opinion said.
Wyoming had filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the mandate and Gov. Mark Gordon said he was “delighted” to hear of the court’s decision.
“This is a victory for Wyoming businesses and their workers. The court rightfully recognized this action by the Biden Administration for what it was: a blatant example of federal overreach,” Gordon said Thursday.
However, he was disappointed that the health care workers mandate remained in place.
“I continue to maintain that healthcare workers should not be forced to choose between vaccination and termination. We are still in the process of evaluating the impacts of this ruling on Wyoming’s healthcare workforce,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis had similar praise for the mandate applying to private companies.
“This is a huge win,” she said. “The federal government has no place making far-reaching mandates that put an undue burden on businesses across Wyoming.”
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso also touted the ruling on his social media Thursday afternoon.
“Today, the Supreme Court confirmed what we all knew: @POTUS Biden’s vaccine mandate on employees of private businesses is unconstitutional. This ruling frees millions of Americans from having to choose between their job and their personal health care decisions,” Barrasso said. “Stopping this massive government overreach is a victory for all Americans who value the Constitution and their personal freedoms.”
President Joe Biden announced in September that he would require federal employees , health care workers and workers at companies employing more than 100 people to get the coronavirus vaccine.
In response, Wyoming filed three lawsuits seeking to block the mandate for employees of large companies, health care workers and federal contractors and their employees.