AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has filed a preliminary-injunction motion urging the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to protect non-federalized members of the Texas National Guard from the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The motion argues that President Biden’s unconstitutional attempt to commandeer Governor Abbott’s commander-in-chief power threatens to undermine his chain of command, blur the lines of accountability, and endanger millions of Texans.
As commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard, Governor Abbott has issued a straightforward order to his chain of command based on his Executive Order GA-39: do not punish any Guardsman for choosing not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. President Biden and his Department of Defense have nevertheless attempted to punish unvaccinated Guardsmen by cutting off their pay, barring their participation in drills, and threatening to discharge them from the Texas National Guard. The motion explains that because President Biden has not federalized the Texas National Guard, he has no constitutional or statutory authority to control, punish, or discharge Texas’ Guardsmen.
“The Governor of Texas does not take orders from the President of the United States,” said Governor Abbott. “President Biden must be held accountable for his unconscionable willingness to hollow out the Texas National Guard with another illegal vaccine mandate. As the commander-in-chief of Texas’ militia, I will deploy every legal tool in defense of these American heroes.”
Read the preliminary-injunction motion.