This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 19, 2021:
The Wyoming state legislature has voted to hold a special session next week to consider two bills pushing back against Biden’s vaccine mandates. Republican Governor Mark Gordon has repeatedly said he would fight against the mandates, even threatening to sue the Biden administration if necessary.
The special session would consider two bills being drafted: 1) a bill sponsored by Representative Chuck Gray of Casper that would ban vaccine “passports” and impose a heavy fine on any company using an employee’s vaccination status to hire, fire, promote, or demote him or her; and 2) a bill sponsored by Representative Tom James of Rock Springs that would impose fines and possible imprisonment for any state employee who attempted to enforce Biden’s mandates.
Wyoming is far from alone. At least 19 governors have issued public statements opposing the administration’s declarations, and several have vowed to fight them.
Southwest Airlines is still recovering from pilots’ pushback that virtually shut down the airline last weekend. Amtrak had to cancel trains because of a similar “staffing issue.” Workers for the shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls are protesting demands from the company’s president that they get vaccinated or else they will lose their jobs.
The union representing pilots for American Airlines has warned the company it will face similar disruptions in service as Southwest if it doesn’t soften its vaccination demands.
Parents in Nevada, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New York, and South Carolina are protesting school boards’ demands that students, even in grade school, wear masks or face disciplinary action.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing rebellion from the police union’s members who are refusing to go along with her vaccine demands. Members of police departments in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver are also protesting the demands.
So, Wyoming is not alone.
However, in covering the issue in Wyoming, both the Casper Star Tribune and The Epoch Times got it wrong. Wrote Victoria Eavis for the Star Tribune: “State statutes can’t supersede federal law, according to the U.S. Constitution.” And Isabel van Brugen, writing for The Epoch Times, also got it wrong: “The U.S. Constitution prohibits state statutes from superseding federal law.”
First, the mandates declared by Biden were not law, but executive orders. Under the Constitution (See Article I, Section 1) only Congress can make laws. Second, any law that violates the U.S. Constitution automatically is null and void.
The Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) makes that clear:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.
Any law that violates the Constitution, in other words, is null and void. That would allow Wyoming to declare Biden’s executive order as null and void and unenforceable in the state. As President George Washington noted in his farewell address in 1796: “Let there be no change [in the Constitution] by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument for good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”