While some local officials are fighting for “local control” to oppress citizens with mask mandates, others are doing their job and defending Texans’ individual freedoms from COVID–19 vaccine mandates. One official in particular believes state and local officials can make President Joe Biden’s federal mandate “unenforceable.”
On September 9, Biden announced a nationwide vaccine mandate.
On September 11 in Brazoria County, roughly 200 miles southeast of the Texas State Capitol, Sheriff Bo Stallman announced he will not enforce the mandate. “As a protector and defender of your individual liberties, I want you to know that you will not be required by the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office to adhere to any vaccine mandate or any other mandate that would attempt to infringe on your individual liberties or freedoms,” Stallman wrote, adding he neither supports nor opposes the COVID vaccines.
“May God bless and protect this Sheriff!” Dirk Holsomback posted. “It’s time for everyone to stand up against Biden’s ‘mandate.’”
“ALL Texas County Sheriff’s should be doing this,” another citizen wrote.
Sheriff Stallman wasn’t alone in his stance. On September 14, more than 270 miles northwest in Ellis County, the county commissioners (with one member absent) and County Judge Todd Little voted for a resolution opposing Biden’s mandate.
“We oppose any use of county resources to enforce any government mandates regarding any COVID–19 vaccine or treatment,” the resolution reads. Commissioners also demand the federal government end their mandate, and for the State of Texas to “employ all necessary resources” to protect Texans individual freedoms.
Little’s office fired off a press release explaining the county’s defense of liberty. “The U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, which the Biden Administration has directed to enforce its mandate, often rely on state government entities to enforce their regulations at a local level,” it reads. “When state or local governments oppose these rules, they become unenforceable, and the federal programs fall apart.”
Corey Rogan, public information officer for Little, told Texas Scorecard that even though Commissioner Lane Grayson was absent, he had indicated he would have supported the resolution. Rogan also said a Johnson County commissioner asked for a copy of the resolution and may introduce a similar one there.
As Texans continue expressing resistance to Biden’s mandate, Grassroots America – We the People, in support of Sheriff Stallman, has called for the Texas Legislature to “fix this issue for all Texans.”
The third special session of the Legislature begins on September 20. Gov. Greg Abbott has added vaccine mandates as a topic for the session, but his wording doesn’t mention the federal government—it only asks the Legislature to decide if state or local governments can mandate COVID–19 vaccines and what exemptions there should be. The Legislature’s last action on vaccines during the regular session this year created a prohibition for businesses that required proof of vaccination from customers.