Navy SEALs ask Supreme Court to end vaccine exemption punishment

todayMarch 14, 2022 1

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Attorneys for 35 Navy SEALs and different particular warfare personnel requested the Supreme Courtroom on Monday to reject a Biden administration emergency movement searching for a keep of a preliminary injunction defending the soldiers from punishment for objecting to the Protection Division’s vaccine mandate on spiritual grounds.

The transfer comes one week after the administration requested the excessive courtroom to carry an injunction protecting the Navy from contemplating vaccination standing when deploying service members.

“[T]he Navy has not granted a single request for spiritual lodging for any servicemember, although it has granted tons of of non-religious exemptions. Whereas judges mustn’t presume to run the army, neither might courts flip a blind eye to violations of the Structure or the Spiritual Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA),” the attorneys wrote in a courtroom submitting. “Permitting blind deference to army preferences, because the Navy urges, would rewrite RFRA. Solely Congress might try this.”

Solely a handful of service members throughout the army’s branches have obtained spiritual exemptions to vaccine mandates, regardless of numerous legal guidelines and rules requiring spiritual lodging, advocates say.

The matter is earlier than affiliate Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who had set Monday because the deadline for a response from the army personnel’s attorneys. Justice Alito can both resolve the matter on his personal or refer it to the complete courtroom.

In January, Decide Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of Texas blocked the Navy from taking motion towards the SEALs and different particular operations personnel.

“The Navy servicemembers on this case search to vindicate the very freedoms they’ve sacrificed a lot to guard. The COVID-19 pandemic supplies the federal government no license to abrogate these freedoms. There is no such thing as a COVID-19 exception to the First Modification. There is no such thing as a army exclusion from our Structure,” Decide O’Connor wrote on the time.

A Protection Division spokesman referred inquiries to the Division of Justice “because the matter entails litigation.”

Mike Berry is an legal professional for First Liberty Institute, which is representing the service members.

“Our shoppers are prepared to make great sacrifices to guard their fellow warriors and our freedoms,” Mr. Berry mentioned in a press release. “Our hope is that the Supreme Courtroom will reject this punitive motion by the Biden administration and respect the spiritual liberty of our shoppers. No member of the army must be compelled to sacrifice the very rights they combat to guard to have the ability to serve.”

For extra info, go to The Washington Occasions COVID-19 useful resource web page.

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