This past Tuesday, Greg Abbott, the Republican Texas Governor, stated that he is starting efforts to sue the Biden administration in order to block the enforcement of the vaccine mandate for National Guard members by the Defense Department.
As stated in a letter to Major General Tracy Norris, who holds the seat of the Adjutant General of the Texas Military Department, Abbott stated to the members of the Texas National Guard that were currently serving under his command that he has begun procedures to slam the administration with a lawsuit on their behalf. “As the commander-in-chief of Texas’s militia, I have issued a straightforward order to every member of the Texas National Guard within my chain of command: Do not punish any guardsman for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” read Abbott’s letter. “Although my order has been in effect for months now, President Biden has muddied the waters with a vaccine mandate from the U.S. Department of Defense.”
“Unless President Biden federalizes the Texas National Guard in accordance with Title 10 of the U.S. Code, he is not your commander-in-chief under our federal or state Constitutions. And as long as I am your commander-in-chief, I will not tolerate efforts to compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine. To the extent the DoD vaccine mandate conflicts with the order I have given, my order controls,” the Governor continued.
Abbott then went on to talk about the vaccine mandate from the Biden administration and the hardships it imposes on guardsmen who refuse to bend to it. “While I refuse to be commandeered into doing the federal government’s work,” stated Abbott. “President Biden still poses a career-ending threat to Texas’s unvaccinated guardsmen.” He then went on to address those provisions in the mandate from the Defense Department which allow the DOD to stop guardsmen from being able to take part in federally-required training and drills which would directly lead to the deprivation of pay, retirement benefits, and may directly cause them to be removed from the guard entirely.
“Let me be crystal clear: It is the federal government that has put Texas’s guardsmen in this difficult position,” stated Abbott. “As your commander-in-chief, I will fight on your behalf. That is why I am suing the Biden Administration over its latest unconstitutional vaccine mandate.”
Abbott did note, however, that there is a chance that he could lose the suit, or that Old Uncle Joe could end up forcing the National Guard to federalize, which would then compel the entire National Guard to receive their vaccine under direct order. “The federal courts have the power to decide whether President Biden violates the U.S. Constitution’s Second Militia Clause by undermining my commander-in-chief power,” exclaimed Abbott. “I cannot guarantee that the judiciary will grant the relief you deserve. And if President Biden lawfully calls you into the actual service of the United States, then he could order you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in his newfound role as your commander-in-chief.”
“Win or lose, President Biden must be held accountable for his unconscionable willingness to hollow out the Texas National Guard” concluded the governor, before going on to promise that he would still go on to fight on behalf of his National Guardsmen.