A federal judge on Monday granted a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Defense from taking “any adverse action” in opposition to 35 Navy sailors who have refused to get vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus, arguing that it violated their spiritual freedoms.

The service members — together with Navy SEALs and members of the Naval Special Warfare Command — had filed go well with in opposition to the Biden administration arguing that their “sincerely held religious beliefs forbid each of them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for a variety of reasons based upon their Christian faith.” The Pentagon had mandated that each one active-duty troops obtain the vaccine.

The judge, Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas, successfully blocked the division from punishing these troops.

“Our nation asks the men and women in our military to serve, suffer, and sacrifice. But we do not ask them to lay aside their citizenry and give up the very rights they have sworn to protect,” Judge O’Connor wrote in his 26-page order. He added: “The Covid-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate those freedoms. There is no Covid-19 exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exclusion from our Constitution.”

The group represents a small fraction of active-duty troops from the United States, and as of mid-December, most active-duty troopers and members of the Navy had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Thousands have requested spiritual exemptions, and none have been granted to date, officers mentioned in December.

The resolution follows one other injunction by a judge in November in opposition to President Biden’s nationwide vaccine mandate for well being care employees.

Judge O’Connor, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, has reliably tossed a number of Democratic insurance policies which have been challenged on the federal bench. In response to the injunction on Monday, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, wrote on Twitter, “This is a major win!”

A spokesperson for the Pentagon couldn’t instantly be reached for remark. But on Monday night, John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, mentioned that protection officers had been reviewing the injunction, in response to The Washington Post.

Source link