The ruling strengthens the military’s vaccination mandate as the Biden government struggles to increase vaccination rates among Americans.
Tuesday’s decision comes weeks after Republican governors of Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska and Wyoming issued a joint letter asking the Pentagon to reconsider vaccine requirements for their National Guard contingents.
They argued – just like Stitt – that the National Guard was under the authority of the governor of each state unless activated by the president. This means that the defense minister cannot impose a coronavirus vaccination on the members of the national guard of their states as long as the troops are not mobilized by the federal government.
Judge Friot’s judgment on Tuesday served as a de facto contradiction to that argument.
” It is very clear that the intention of Congress. . . is that the guard and their relatives are prepared in any case according to federal military standards for the draft into the federal service. . . short term or without notice, ” said Friot, who was nominated for his post by Republican President George W. Bush in 2001.
The Biden administration “acts well within the powers granted by the constitution and law of the United States,” added Friot.
Many states have tried – sometimes successfully – to convince courts to end the Biden government’s vaccine mandates, which are aimed at vaccinating federal contractors, federal agencies, private companies with 100 or more employees, and healthcare facilities covered by Medicaid and Medicare force their employees, minus those qualified for medical or religious exemptions.
The leaders of these states, many of whom are Republicans, have stated that the mandates violate citizens’ right to make their own medical decisions.
Fines rise as 2 Georgia representatives leave without masks
WASHINGTON – Two Georgia Republican lawmakers sat in front of the television cameras during a recent marathon session in the House of Representatives. Neither of them wore a mask.
It was the latest act of defiance by the couple, MPs Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde, against a rule that requires lawmakers to wear masks on the floor of the House of Representatives. Most Republican lawmakers, however, have reluctantly complied with mandates, which can result in fines that quickly add up to hefty sums of money. But Greene and Clyde have repeatedly and proudly disregarded it.
To date, the two have suffered more than $ 100,000 in fines, which will be deducted directly from their paychecks.
A resolution passed by the House of Representatives in January said that members would be fined $ 500 for not wearing a mask on the floor of the House for the first time and $ 2,500 for subsequent violations. The House Ethics Committee records each fine in a press release, but Greene and Clyde’s violations were so numerous that the panel began to announce theirs in bundles.
Greene, who said she was not vaccinated, called the mask requirement “communist”, “tyrannical” and “authoritarian”.
“The American people have had enough and are opposing these outrageous and unconstitutional policies,” she said in a statement.
Greene has been fined more than $ 80,000 more than 30 times for violating mask rules, according to her office. She was fined five days in a row during a stretch this fall.
Only 20 of Greene’s total fines totaling nearly $ 50,000 have been disclosed by the ethics committee. (In-house procedures and appeals can delay announcements by up to two months.)
Clyde has been fined at least $ 30,000 for violating the mask rule at least 14 times.
In challenging his fines, Clyde accused the House of Representatives and the Sergeant-at-Arms enforcing the sentences of “deeply disturbing” practices of “selective enforcement”.
Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky who was also fined, suggested Clyde found a way to pay the fines. Massie told CNN that Clyde changed his paycheck to only get $ 1 a month.
A Clyde spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Other Republicans who have been fined at least once for not wearing a mask on the floor of the house include Bob Good from Virginia, Brian Mast from Florida, Mary Miller from Illinois, Beth Van Duyne from Texas, Chip Roy from Texas, Ralph Norman from South Carolina and Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa.
Massie, Greene and Norman have filed a federal lawsuit against spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi in Washington seeking a court order to overturn the fines as unconstitutional. The lawsuit accuses Pelosi of using the mandate “as a stick” to undock the wages of her “political opponents”.
It argues that the House of Representatives can punish members for disorderly behavior, but that Republicans don’t believe that refusal to wear a mask falls into that category.
NEW YORK TIMES