Texas has been a thorn in President Joe Biden’s side since the moment he entered office. The state has pushed back against the new administration on multiple fronts, and this includes numerous lawsuits.
Governor Greg Abbott has slammed Biden for his border policy failures, for example. And he prioritizes individual liberties for state residents, and does not support Biden’s pandemic rules.
Now, Gov. Abbott has made yet another strong legal move against the President.
Biden’s most controversial mandate of 2021 was his rule that all companies with over 100 employees need to enforce a vaccine mandate. This immediately met with criticism and state and federal lawsuits.
The mandate included the U.S. military as well, which has resulted in even more problems.
Recently, a judge ruled in favor of 35 active-duty Navy SEALs who said Biden’s mandate was unconstitutional, and didn’t allow for religious freedom. That was yet another blow to the President’s edict.
Now, the Texas governor wants to go after the administration, as he fights in favor of another military branch: the National Guard.
Abbott is suing the federal government for that Guard vaccine mandate, once again claiming it’s unconstitutional. As he wrote in a letter to the government (via Fox News):
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 C19 vaccine.
Gov. Abbott added an important point:
The President is not the commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard. So unless POTUS federalizes the state’s National Guard “in accordance with Title 10 of the U.S. code,” he is not in charge in this matter.
Instead, it’s Abbott who is the Texas Guard’s commander-in-chief. And he’s not about to let this happen without a fight:
Let me be crystal clear: It is the federal government that has put Texas’s guardsmen in this difficult position.
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.
The Title 10 issue is an important one in this case.
Title 32 of the U.S. code says the National Guard is under the authority of state governors. The only way the federal government is in control is if the president calls them up, and that would be Title 10.
But either way, Texas is holding firm against Biden’s mandates.
Abbott added that “President Biden must be held accountable for his unconscionable willingness to hollow out the Texas National Guard.”
This comes hot on the heels of a letter Gov. Abbott sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin late last year. In it, he told the Pentagon that he refuses to support Biden’s mandate for the Guard.
Now, there’s a lawsuit, which isn’t a huge shock. And he’s hardly the only state governor to push back.
The state leaders of Wyoming, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Nebraska have all demanded that the Biden administration cancel the order. But the government isn’t backing down just yet.
In the meantime, many active-service military members might lose their livelihoods if the mandate holds, and they’re not willing to follow the order.
They’re not the only ones who consider it unconstitutional, of course, and that’s the crux of the issue for millions of Americans.