TOPEKA – (May 13, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to once again review the legality of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, which is causing disruption in the healthcare workforce, particularly in small, rural communities.
Schmidt, together with officials from nine other states, filed a request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the federal vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, as well as questions of whether the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) properly followed the rulemaking process in issuing the mandate.
In January, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to temporarily block the healthcare mandate from being implemented, but did not reach all of the statutory or constitutional questions presented in the states’ petition.
Earlier this year, Schmidt sent a letter to Gov. Laura Kelly urging her to seek a waiver from CMS to exempt rural healthcare workers from the federal mandate, as has been sought by governors in other states. CMS responded by reducing the state’s survey and certification funding allocation by $348,723 for Kansas’ failure to enforce the mandate and indicated it would use those funds to pay for direct enforcement by the federal government.
Schmidt has aggressively fought back against federal vaccine mandates since Sept. 9, 2021, when President Biden announced his “patience is wearing thin” and began ordering federal vaccine mandates. To date, Schmidt has brought legal challenges to four of the Biden mandates, and three of those four were blocked from implementation in Kansas by federal court orders Schmidt has obtained. The OSHA mandate for private employers was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court, and later withdrawn by the federal government. The federal contractor mandate that affects defense contractors and research universities is blocked by a federal appeals court, and the Head Start mandate that requires all staff and contractors in Head Start facilities to be vaccinated and requires toddlers age two and older to wear masks is blocked by a federal district court.
A copy of yesterday’s petition for writ of certiorari in the CMS challenge can be found at https://bit.ly/3wc6VMN.