A federal judge has backed 35 Navy service members challenging the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on religious grounds; there will be no punishment.
“[U.S. District Judge Reed] O’Connor, who was appointed to the federal bench in Texas by President George W. Bush, said the Navy had not granted a single religious exemption to the vaccine rule,” Newsmax reports.
“The Navy service members in this case seek to vindicate the very freedoms they have sacrificed so much to protect. The COVID-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate those freedoms,” O’Connor wrote.
The First Liberty Institute’s general counsel Mike Berry heralded the decision as a victory for religious freedoms. “Forcing a service member to choose between their faith and serving their country is abhorrent to the Constitution and America’s values,” said Berry.
One person on Twitter asked the question, “How many attorneys will get rich before they stop spending our money on fighting what they know is unconstitutional?”