As commander-in-chief of the Texas militia, Governor Greg Abbot said he ‘will not tolerate’ President Biden’s efforts to impose a federal vaccine mandate on the state’s armed forces
Texas Governor Greg Abbot has announced a lawsuit against the Biden administration, challenging a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for National Guardsmen, whom he argues are under the state’s authority.
Abbott wrote to Major General Tracy Norris on Tuesday, stating that he issued an order directing no members of Texas’ National Guard to be “punished”You chose not to have a vaccination, despite mandates recently passed that resulted in many service personnel being fired.
Abbott has been clear in refusing to impose a vaccine mandate on his state’s military for weeks now, even in light of a Pentagon mandate put in place in August. Army National Guard members have until June 30 for vaccination.
Biden tried to force Guardsmen to get a COVID-19 vaccination. I, as commander-in chief of Texas’ militia will not accept this. That is why I sue the Biden Administration. over its latest unconstitutional vaccine mandate.Read my full letter:https://t.co/kt4prg1w4c
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 4, 2022
On the issue of National Guard personnel authority, several governors opposed the White House. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt started a lawsuit which was ultimately unsuccessful. It also attempted to block Guard mandates.
Abbott claims that he is commander-in-chief for the Texas National Guard. He also holds the ultimate authority, according to Title 32 US Code. This states that Guard members fall under the state’s authority, except when federal orders are issued, usually to an overseas deployment or national emergency.
Title 10 permits President Joe Biden the authority to put Guard members under federal orders. But, once these orders are complete they still remain under state control. This leaves vaccine mandates in a legal gray area, as a military vaccine mandate would mean National Guard soldiers cannot be called upon for federal orders, should a challenge like Abbott’s prove successful. If their units receive federal orders it may also require that National Guard soldiers be immunized against Covid-19. In this case, Abbott’s challenge would merely stall the mandate.
Abbott acknowledges that his attempts may fail but he claims that federal courts would be required to determine whether Biden is successful. “violated”By “undermining” the governor’s alleged authority with the mandate.