Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who is no stranger to filing suits against presidential administrations, has filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration regarding vaccine mandates. In this particular suit, Abbott is suing based on Biden’s vaccine mandate for National Guard troops. Abbott himself has already “issued a straightforward order” stating that no member of the Texas National Guard will be punished for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Tuesday, Abbott released a letter saying that he fully intended to file a suit against the federal government based on what Abbott claims is an unconstitutional mandate for members of the Texas National Guard.
Abbott wrote: “As the commander-in-chief of Texas’ militia (another name for the National Guard in Texas), I have issued a straightforward order . . . (instructing the leaders of the Texas National Guard) not (to punish) any guardsman for choosing not to receive a vaccine.” Abbott addressed this letter to Major General Tracy Norris, who is an Adjutant General of the Texas Military Department.
Abbott’s letter reminded leaders of the Texas National Guard that Abbott is the commander to whom the military entity is obligated to answer to, unless Biden mobilizes the Texas National Guard for federal purposes. Abbott also said that as long as he is the commander-in-chief for the Texas National Guard, he will not allow for the group to be forced to take the vaccine, nor will he allow the individuals to be punished.
Abbott reiterated that he believes the members of the Texas National Guard are in a predicament caused by the decisions of the Biden Administration. Abbott finished his letter by saying that he would fight on the behalf of the members of the Texas National Guard, and that he was suing the Biden Administration for what Abbott claims is an unconstitutional mandate.
Abbott does have legal standing when he makes these statements. Title 32 of the U.S. Code does give local governors authority over those in the National Guard. Title 10 does put Guardsmen under the purview of the president, but only if the president has officially called them up.
However, Abbott ended his letter to those over the Texas National Guard by saying that ultimately, the federal courts will have to make the decision regarding the National Guard of the Lone Star state and vaccine mandates. Abbott did congratulate the members of the Texas National Guard for their service, and he also stated that the Biden Administration should be held accountable for the requirement of the vaccine, which Abbott says is an “unconscionable willingness to hollow out the Texas National Guard.” Abbott had already sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, telling him that he (Abbott) would not be enforcing the vaccine mandate in his state.
Oklahoma’s governor, Kevin Stitt, has also sued to block the vaccine mandate for the National Guard of Oklahoma.