“It is unlawful for Defendants to attempt to override the Governor’s authority to govern his troops, and then leave him to deal with the harms that they leave in their wake,” the lawsuit said.
According to Abbott’s lawsuit, more than 220 members of the Texas Air National Guard and about 40% of the members of the Texas Army National Guard are refusing to get vaccinated — for religious reasons or otherwise.
“Because the Military Vaccine Mandate will lead to the loss of these Guardsmen from Governor Abbott’s command, and the State’s militia, the harm to the State is inevitable,” the lawsuit said, while alleging the vaccine requirement was unconstitutional and a violation of an administrative law that dictates agency procedures for rolling out new policies.
Abbott is not the only Republican governor to oppose the vaccine requirement for National Guard members. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt also went to court to halt the mandate in his state.
Last week, Judge Stephen Friot from the Western District of Oklahoma denied Stitt’s request for an injunction with a ruling that said Defense Department regulations “leave no doubt that the department’s vaccination protocols must, and do, apply as fully to the statutory reserve components (including the Guard) as to the active-duty forces.”
CNN’s Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.