Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order on Wednesday to allow state employees in South Dakota to defy President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate.

“South Dakota is fighting back against President Biden’s illegal vaccine mandates,” Noem said, according to DRG News. “Our state has many contracts with the federal government, and President Biden is attempting to use those contracts to force state employees to be vaccinated against their will.”

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“My executive order will protect their rights to medical and religious exemptions under any federal vaccine mandates,” she added. “I am already talking with legislators about extending these protections to private employees through legislation as well.”

“My executive order will protect their rights to medical and religious exemptions under any federal vaccine mandates,” she added. “I am already talking with legislators about extending these protections to private employees through legislation as well.”

Biden’s executive order states that all federal employees must be fully vaccinated by November 22 unless they obtain a medical exemption. Noem’s order, unfortunately, does not apply to South Dakota National Guard service members who must meet federal readiness responsibilities for deployment, according to KTIV.

Noem added that during the 2022 legislature session, she “will work with the legislature to make these protections for state employees permanent, and to extend similar health and religious liberty protections to employees of private businesses who adopted mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies.”

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Noem wrote an oped for USA Today last month in which she pledged to take Biden to court if he moved forward with vaccine mandates.

“We will not be mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in South Dakota,” she said definitively. “The Biden administration has no business forcing vaccinations on the American people through executive decree or rule. Biden has no constitutional authority to do so.”

“The states should lead on pandemic response,” she added. “As governor, I will continue to honor the wishes of our Founders by taking my direction from the Constitution. I will continue to value freedom and personal responsibility.”

Noem concluded by saying, “I’d encourage Americans to get vaccinated, as I did. But that choice is theirs to make – not the federal government’s to make for them.”

Americans everywhere should be free to decide whether or not they get vaccinated without the government getting involved. God bless Noem for fighting back against the unconstitutional ways of the Biden administration and for taking a stand for individual freedom. If only more governors would do the same.