Texas Governor Abbott Sues U.S. in Challenge to National Guard Vaccines
(Bloomberg) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott sued the Biden administration over its effort to impose a coronavirus vaccine mandate on National Guard troops, saying it violates state sovereignty to require the shots when the troops are not on active federal duty.
Under U.S. law, National Guard units answer to the states where they are domiciled unless they are called into active duty by the federal government. Abbott’s lawsuit also cites Texas’s state constitution, saying its governor serves as the national guard’s commander-in-chief except when the troops are called into federal service.
The dispute between Texas and the U.S. has been brewing since at least last month, when Abbott said he wouldn’t enforce the vaccine mandate on National Guard soldiers and then said he would sue to block it. The lawsuit was filed in Tyler, Texas, by state Attorney General Ken Paxton and named Abbott as the plaintiff. President Joe Biden, the Defense Department, the Army and the Air Force were named as defendants.
Abbott, a Republican, has been one of the most prominent political figures challenging the Biden administration’s handling of the coronavirus response, challenging vaccine and face mask mandates and refusing to enforce others. Despite that, he has sought help from the federal government for additional medical personnel and allocations of monoclonal antibodies, a post-infection treatment.
On Monday, a federal judge in Texas issued an order blocking the Navy from taking disciplinary action against 35 sailors who sued after refusing a vaccination order.
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