A judge on Monday barred the Pentagon from taking “any adverse action” against Navy sailors who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for religious reasons.
A group of 35 members of the Navy’s Special Warfare Service – including SEALs, Special Warfare Combat Craft crew, divers and an explosive ordnance disposal technician – have filed a disputing complaint the Navy’s COVID-19 vaccine warrant on Nov. 9, claiming the Navy’s COVID-19 vaccine warrant violated their religious freedom.
North Texas District Judge Reed O’Connor noted in his ruling that the Navy had denied at least 29 of 35 requests for religious accommodation. He said of the religious accommodation process, “by all accounts it’s drama,” adding that the branch “just stamps every refusal.”
“Our nation calls on the men and women of our army to serve, to suffer and to sacrifice themselves. But we are not asking them to put aside their citizens and give up the very rights they have sworn to protect, ”wrote O’Connor, who was appointed by then President George W. Bush.
“The COVID-19 pandemic does not give the government any license to abrogate these freedoms. There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exclusion from our Constitution, ”he added.
The named trial President BidenJoe BidenTrump Denounces “Low-Life Twitter” After Greene’s Account Suspends Jill Biden To Travel To Kentucky To See Tornado Damage On The Money – Biden’s Ox with Industry meat PLUS, Secretary of Defense Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense & National Security – Nuclear States Say There Are No Winners In World War, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and the Pentagon.
The Pentagon told The Hill it was reviewing the decision, referring the questions to the Justice Department “because this matter involves litigation.” The Hill has contacted the Justice Department for comment.
The Navy has demanded that all sailors on active duty be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 28, or else they will be fired. Last month, the branch announced it had given commanders advice on moving forward with issuing administrative separations for service members who had not been vaccinated.
Senator Ted cruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz Will Putin Sink Biden? This week: Congress returns to anniversary of January 6 attack Democrats return with long to-do list MORE reacted to the decision on Twitter, writing “This is a major victory!”