Constitutionally-speaking, the National Guard of each state is not like a county – a simple political subdivision of the Pentagon. The Constitutional articles of note are:
Article I, Section 8, Clause 15:
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
and Clause 16:
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
In an 18th Century legal sense, “to provide for” generally was used in a more future sense. Such as make plans for, make rules, for, and the like.
Congress can “nationalize” the Guard, but only SO LONG AS it does so to “execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” It cannot “govern” the Guard expect when “employed in the Service of the United States,” as per the three specific scenarios in Clause 15.
The unconstitutional use of the guard has skyrocketed in recent decades. Reports show that 28% of all military deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan were from the Guard. Passing the Defend the Guard act to resist these unconstitutional deployments will go a long way in limiting federal overreach in foreign policy.
Legend: Blue: Introduced. Yellow: Passed one or more houses. Green: Passed both houses. Red: Passed as Law. Black: Failed Vote or Stalled in Committee
2011 Legislation (previous years below)