Yesterday, Federal Judge Reed O'Connor, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, issued a temporary injunction against a federal vaccine mandate for Navy SEALs, who sued President Biden because they were seeking a religious exemption. This is HUGE.
In November 2021, the First Liberty Institute filed this case on behalf of 35 active-duty SEALs and three reservists seeking a religious exemption. The procedural way to do this starts here: sue Joe Biden. There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exclusion from our Constitution.
This is truly important to FL-01, as I have had constituents write to me in anguish all year because of the unconstitutional vaccine mandate. Moreover, I am well aware that at the direction of the Department of Defense (DoD), the Navy, and all other armed services have followed suit, providing a “religious accommodation process,” to avoid their imposed mandate. This process turned out to be merely theater. I know that this fake process serves as a rubber stamp for the authorities to deny your application, as they did for these 35 SEALs. In fact, roughly 12,000 service members who requested religious exemptions have been denied at this point. Over the past seven years, the Navy has not granted a religious exemption to any vaccine requirement.
This began in August 2021, when Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Department of Defense issued a vaccine mandate to all armed services members. The Department of the Navy also implemented its own mandate requiring all active-duty Navy service members to be fully vaccinated before November 28, or face a “full range” of disciplinary action. I do not support disobedience in the ranks of our Armed Services, but in the case of the U.S. Constitution and permitted religious exemption requests, these men were courageous and righteous in their efforts to stand their ground. Here are their religious exemption requests:
(1) Opposition to abortion and the use of aborted fetal cell lines in the development of the vaccine;
(2) Belief that modifying one’s body is an affront to their Creator;
(3) Direct, divine instruction not to receive the vaccine; and
(4) Opposition to injecting trace amounts of animal cells into one’s body
These are legitimate exemption requests, founded on religious doctrine. As many in the military community have expressed to me, a prepared disapproval template–only adjusted for the applicant's name and rank–is the normal response, which sidesteps the purported “individualized review” of these requests. Legitimate applicants for religious exemption are receiving mere form letters, disregarding their particular situation.
Thankfully, Judge O'Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas just issued a preliminary injunction, barring the DoD from punishing these SEALs for their religious exemptions until the case is fully litigated. This is a huge step in the right direction, as I anticipate more judicial outcomes like this in the future.
I will continue to fight for your Constitutional freedoms and protect the efficacy of our sacred document, regardless of overreaching mandates. It is important for us all to keep the Biden regime and his unconstitutional vaccine mandates in check.