A federal court has denied a lawsuit filed by Republican Oklahoma’s Gov. Kevin Stitt has been denied his attempt to terminate the military vaccine mandate. Stitt had called the Pentagon’s vaccination mandate as he wanted it to be suspended for the state National Guard members.
Judge Stephen P. Friot agreed with Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, who had maintained that the vaccine was necessary to maintain a healthy workforce that could act quickly. The Judge also disagreed with the assertion by Kevin Stitt that the Pentagon had overstepped its constitutional authority. Friot noted that the National Guard members are already required to receive 9 immunizations.
Judge Friot noted that the regulation of the Defense Dept. has left no uncertainty that the protocol in place for vaccination should be followed. He noted that they apply equally to active-duty force and also the statutory reserves that included the National Guards.
Kevin Stitt had contended that he remained the head of the National Guards in his state as long as it wasn’t summonsed for federal duties.
Kevin Stitt First Governor Opposing The Vaccine Mandate
Kevin Stitt was the 1st governor to go on record to oppose the vaccine mandate. He had written to Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, that the vaccine mandate violated the personal freedom of several members of the National Guards.
6 more Republican governors have come out earlier in December against the vaccine mandate. They include Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas. He found it unacceptable that the administration could threaten to hold back pay for National Guard members if they remained unvaccinated.
The Republican Governors of Alaska, Iowa, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Mississippi have also contended that the Pentagon is authorized to order a vaccine mandate covering the state National Guards.
Kevin Stitt has claimed that it was within his power to refuse the vaccine mandate for its personnel as he was its commander-in-chief.
But the federal court ruling has halted his plans for now. The judge has categorically stated that the National Guards were required to meet the readiness requirement of the federal military forces. And that included the requirement of medical vaccination.