Wyoming Legislature Approves Late October Special Session
On Oct. 15, the Wyoming legislature received enough votes from members of the House and Senate to approve a special session, which will take place at the end of Oct., to oppose President Joe Biden's proposed vaccine requirements.
Senate President Dan Dockstader said that the special session will be held on Oct. 26 to 28, with rules being coordinated by leadership this week.
While the legislature still has to hash out the rules surrounding the session, as these sessions are only held with a few specific priorities in mind, the main goal appears to be the COVID-19 requirements Biden plans on imposing through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Biden's plan involves imposing fines on businesses that employ over 100 people that either don't have vaccinated employees or don't submit weekly negative COVID-19 tests.
Though the special session will happen, it is not clear what exactly they will be implementing, as Biden's plan has not yet been released, and though it is possible the plan will be released by the time the special session is held.
Responding to the call for a special session, Democrats in the Wyoming legislature released a statement condemning the need for such a session, calling it a "waste of time."
The statement by Democrats references in part the supremacy clause, that federal law supersedes state law, which would include anything passed by the Wyoming legislature against the vaccine requirement.
An executive order passed by Biden on its own wouldn't supersedes state law under the supremacy clause, however the order Biden issued involves invoking part of OSH Act of 1970, which allows the Secretary of Labor, Martin Walsh, to implement "emergency temporary standard" if he determines:
"That employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and that such emergency standard is necessary to protect employees from such danger."
When the rule is implemented, it will most likely have to make its way through the courts, as 24 Republican attorney generals signed a letter vowed to fight the order, to determine whether or not the federal government is able to take this step.