Federal judge in Texas broadens vaccine-exemption lawsuit against Navy

todayMarch 30, 2022

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A federal decide in Texas has expanded a lawsuit towards the Navy over non secular exemptions to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, in addition to a brief injunction blocking the Navy from requiring service members to take the jab.

U.S. District Court docket Choose Reed O’Connor gave the lawsuit filed on behalf of a number of dozen Navy SEALs and different particular warfare fighters “class motion” standing, ruling the case open to all service members who’ve requested a non secular exemption from the mandate.

Choose O’Connor, nominated to the federal bench in 2007 by President George W. Bush, wrote in his choice that the Navy’s stinginess in granting non secular exemptions signifies that “whereas Defendants encourage this Court docket to ignore the info, it’s onerous to think about a extra constant show of discrimination.”

The Navy can, nevertheless, proceed to make use of vaccination standing when making personnel project choices, a transfer sanctioned final week by the Supreme Court docket in a 6-3 vote.

Lawyer Mike Berry, director of army affairs for public-interest legislation agency First Liberty Institute, stated Choose O’Connor’s evaluation will get to the guts of the problem, one involving “someplace over 4,000 sailors which have requested a non secular lodging” on the vaccine mandate.

The armed forces have granted solely a handful of such exemptions whereas these searching for medical or administrative exemptions have had a neater time of it, the legal professional stated.

“It actually doesn’t matter whether or not the army makes different vaccines obligatory, together with COVID,” Mr. Berry stated in an interview. “The actual crux of the authorized situation is the truth that when the army permits for medical and administrative exemptions, however refuses to permit non secular exemptions, which is what they’ve publicly acknowledged is their coverage with the COVID vaccine, that’s textbook discrimination, non secular discrimination.”

Mr. Berry stated the Justice Division has already appealed Choose O’Connor’s injunction to the fifth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals.

The Washington Occasions has reached out to the Division of the Navy and the Justice Division for remark.

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Written by: soft fm radio staff

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