Gloved hand placing sign board next to vaccine shots and syringe.

Attorneys general from nine states on Thursday renewed their request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the legality of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, which they claim is causing disruption in the healthcare workforce, particularly in small, rural communities.

“After the agency imposed a 90-day delay, the mandate went into full effect on April 15, 2022, and the petitioner states are now experiencing its devastating consequences — especially on their small, rural, and community-based healthcare systems,” according to court records.

Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming filed a petition with the Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit. They asked the court to review the constitutionality of the federal vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, and also questioned whether the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services properly followed the rulemaking process. 

In January, the Supreme Court said in a 5-4 decision that a vaccine requirement for staff at all U.S. nursing homes and other federally funded healthcare facilities could proceed. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt stated Friday that the January ruling “did not reach all of the statutory or constitutional questions presented in the states’ petition.”

CMS warned state survey agencies in February they must enforce all aspects of the federal programs’ health and safety requirements. The message targeted any state that “unilaterally acts to reduce or suspend survey and certification activities.

In the renewed request, the attorneys general ask the court to look at whether the mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act “because it was issued without notice and comment.”  The petitioners also ask whether the mandate might be unconstitutional under the Spending Clause, the anti-commandeering doctrine and the 10th Amendment, which would make the mandate a states’ rights issue. Additionally, the states ask whether CMS exceeded its statutory authority in issuing the vaccine mandate.