Biden Targets The Navy SEALs

Wesker100, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s what happened…

In November 2021, First Liberty Institute –– non-profit fighting for religious liberty –– filed a lawsuit on behalf of 35 Navy SEALs and three reservists. The lawsuit against President Biden seeks religious exemption from the Department of Defense vaccine mandate.

The news that Judge Reed O’Connor granted a temporary injunction on President Biden’s military vaccine mandate comes as thousands of U.S. military members are facing potential discharge for a failure to comply.

However, in his ruling on Monday (January 3rd), District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Judge O’Connor, ruled the COVID-19 pandemic did not provide the federal government a “license to abrogate” servicemen and service women’s First Amendment Rights.

In the ruling Judge O’Connor wrote that the U.S. requested service, sacrifice, and suffering from military members but did not “ask them to lay aside their citizenry and give up the very rights they have sworn to protect.”

The judge also noted that although the military offered religious exemptions, these exemptions were mere “theater.” Substantiating these remarks by saying that the military had not given religious exemptions the same weight as secular exemptions –– like potential allergic reactions –– evident by the Navy only granting secular exemptions.

O’Connor went on to acknowledge the arduous process military members had to go through to get a religious exemption –– which he highlighted would “still receive less favorable treatment than its secular counterparts.” The judge went on to describe the process of receiving a religious exemption as a “fifty-step process,” which he said would be denied before they begin.

Recognizing the bias against religious freedoms, Judge O’Connor also called attention to the Biden administration’s failure to display a compelling interest in requiring service members to infringe on their “sincerely held religious beliefs” according to provisions in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.