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Federal Judge Issues Stay Against Vaccine Mandate for Navy SEALs

Federal Judge Issues Stay Against Vaccine Mandate for Navy SEALs

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tests positive for COVID.

We have been covering the continuing dismissals of qualified military personnel asking for religious exemptions from obtaining the COVID vaccine required under a federal mandate.

Now a federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against the mandate for Navy SEALs, who sued President Biden because they pursued a religious exemption.

Judge Reed O’Connor, the U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas, issued the stay in response to a lawsuit filed by First Liberty Institute in November on behalf of 35 active-duty SEALs and three reservists seeking a religious exemption, as first reported by Fox News Digital.

“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. There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment,” O’Connor wrote in his ruling. “There is no military exclusion from our Constitution.”

The SEALS are among hundreds who have sought religious exemptions to the Defense Department mandate requiring all active-duty personnel to receive vaccination against COVID. The attorney for the military officials states the response to the mandate exemptions points to a political agenda.

First Liberty, the Texas-based public interest law firm representing what it said were “dozens of U.S. Navy SEALs and other Naval Special Warfare personnel” opposed to the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate, said the move protects the personnel from punishment for seeking a religious exemption.

“The latest count is well over 1,000 medical and administrative exemptions granted, but not a single religious exemption,” Mike Berry, First Liberty’s general counsel, said in a telephone interview.

He called that figure “almost impossible” to believe.

“I literally have never heard of any such thing in my entire life or professional career. But I think it shows that this is really rooted in religious hostility, and in a political agenda,” he added.

Meanwhile, the double vaccinated and boosted Secretary of Defense is recovering…from a case of COVID.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I tested positive this morning for COVID-19. I requested the test today after exhibiting symptoms while at home on leave,” Austin said in a statement late Sunday. “My symptoms are mild, and I am following my physician’s directions.”

“In keeping with those directions, and in accordance with CDC guidelines, I will quarantine myself at home for the next five days,” he said.

Austin, 68, said that he is fully vaccinated and was boosted in October. He said that while he quarantines, he plans to continue with key meetings and discussions virtually, “to the degree possible” and that Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks would represent him as necessary.

He said that his staff had begun contact tracing and testing anyone who he’d been in contact with over the last week.

Austin insists the vaccines work…because Science!

“The vaccines work and will remain a military medical requirement for our workforce. I continue to encourage everyone eligible for a booster shot to get one. This remains a readiness issue,” he added.

If Austin’s bitter clinging to the vaccine mandate is an indication of his tactics, it explains much about Afghanistan. My prayers for peace will be boosted accordingly. Hopefully, they will work, unlike the “vaccines.”


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I am glad that they struck down the mandate, but the reason doesn’t make sense to me. I have always understood that a military member does NOT have civil rights granted by the Constitution – those rights are for civilians, thus the term civil rights. When I was in the service, I did not have freedom of speech, freedom from unnecessary searches, etc. I was basically a slave owned by the US Government, but that was 1968. I guess things have changed since then.

    nordic_prince in reply to oldvet50. | January 4, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    The clot shot is still under EUA – the whole thing about Comirnaty being “FDA approved” was basically a bait and switch. A federal judge rejected the claim that Comirnaty and Pfizer are interchangeable, and Comirnaty is not available in the US – nor will it be so before they get it on the kids’ vaxx schedule (that whole “shield of liability” thing). It’s my understanding that once a pharmaceutical is approved, the EUAs for the other pharmaceuticals are to be rescinded.

    Well, guess what? Pfizer, et al are still being offered under the EUA (still at least a year left in that clinical trial, and yes, everyone who’s taken it is participating in a clinical trial…so much for “informed consent”). This shouldn’t be if Comirnaty were “approved.” Furthermore, the military doesn’t have the authority to mandate its members take unapproved (experimental) shots, so if the DOD wanted its troops to take a “covid” shot, it would HAVE to be Comirnaty (hence the big deal about the judge rejecting the claim of interchangeability). But…the shots that are being offered are ANYTHING but Comirnaty.

    The whole thing is rotten to the core. Thankfully people are starting to wake up. The clot shot is killing people. Consider this: Insurance companies (who, it can be argued, would be among the LEAST LIKELY to entertain “conspiracy theories”) are noticing a 40% INCREASE in deaths in the 18-64 age range. That is simply unheard of.

    See also this article which supports the previous observation.

      henrybowman in reply to nordic_prince. | January 4, 2022 at 5:34 pm

      “A federal judge rejected the claim that Comirnaty and Pfizer are interchangeable”
      If they want a legal basis to assume they are interchangeable, let the CDC come out and say it.
      They won’t.
      That tells you all you need to know.

    Milhouse in reply to oldvet50. | January 4, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    That is not correct. Civil rights apply to everyone, whether they are military or civilians, and whether citizens or aliens. But when you join the military you waive certain of your rights; it’s inherent in the concept of military service that you can’t do exactly as you like whenever you like, so those regulations that are appropriate and necessary for legitimate military necessities, such as discipline, pass muster.

    But you still have those rights you haven’t waived, and that means regulations that don’t fit those criteria are invalid. For instance you still have the right to the free exercise of religion, to the extent that this does not unduly interfere with military discipline. Certainly the military cannot impose a religion on you, even though that would promote the legitimate goals of military cohesion.

    Freedom of speech is limited in the military, but mostly as a condition of employment, just as it can be limited by a private employer. When you accept a job with such terms, you waive your rights. If you don’t like it, don’t take the job. But the limitations can’t be random; they must be necessary and proper to a legitimate military goal.

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to oldvet50. | January 5, 2022 at 11:45 am

    ” I have always understood that a military member does NOT have civil rights granted by the Constitution”

    Your understanding is not correct in any way.

    I think you fail to understand, perhaps, the distinction between administrative and judicial punishment. Your restrictions on speech and vulnerability to search is no different in the military than in civil employment. If a company does not like what you say, in most places, they can fire you, reassign you, demote you, withhold pay, withhold promotion, etc., depending upon contractual employment issues and various state and local later of which may provide certain protections that are not available to military members who are under federal jurisdiction. The same if you do not allow then to search you, your belongings, work area, etc.

    I learned the most likely punishment in the military was to just get yelled at. Once you decide that this does not bother you, you have remarkable freedom of action, more so than under civilian employment. The other most likely punishment is a bad evaluation that can be career ending. Then there are non-judicial actions such as temporary reduction in pay or paygrade, but then, a private company may do the same if it desires.

    You really have to go the extra mile to get kicked out of the military, that is, it sort of has to be a goal, and you must break a pretty serious law to end up incarcerated. And the only guy you really have to listen to and obey is the guy who writes your evaluation. Everyone else can go to Hell. Once you figure that out, the military is a quite liberating work environment.

    The most amazing thing about this vaccine mandate is that any enlisted person who wants out of their contract can just refuse the shot and wait for the discharge. They will lose a certain percentage just to that and these service members have no interest in having a court intervene on their behalf and are probably cussing these SEALs as I write.

    Deborahhh in reply to oldvet50. | January 6, 2022 at 11:41 am

    I agree with your assessment. As they used to say, the Navy can take away everything you have except your birthday.

It was not struck down. The judge issued a temporary injunction pending further litigation. It’s a good sign, but it’s not final.

Lloyd Austin should be in Hollywood, as an extra in a well known series of movies. He has been a disaster for the military.

    MattMusson in reply to JohnSmith100. | January 4, 2022 at 4:15 pm

    He continues to bounce from crisis to crisis, constantly lower the Military’s readiness.

    henrybowman in reply to JohnSmith100. | January 4, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    Now you have me trying to figure out what movie series you mean.
    I can’t think of anything recent (“Jackass” wasn’t a series, was it?)
    Maybe the Leslie Neilsen movies?
    Otherwise, the closest I can come is “Abbott and Costello Meet [x].”
    Or maybe “Amos and Andy.”

Colonel Travis | January 4, 2022 at 4:23 pm

When I first saw that photo of the Sec. of Defense in a face shield, I had no idea who that was. I thought it was someone from a 3rd world country. I still cannot ever remember his name.

This is the first time in my life where I know of virtually no one in the administration. There is no reason to. The left is full of tyrants and stupid people and/or both. Knowing who any given cabinet member is does not benefit me in any way.

the Sec of Def looks like a dumbass wimp in that picture.

I would rather have neville chamberlin as Sec of Def.

DoD ‘you MUST get vax +boost’
Service Members ‘ok but why’
DoD ‘without it you could catch Rona and hurt readiness’
SM ‘can I get an exception for reasons of conscious?’
DoD ‘well we can’t stop you from submitting the request’
SM ‘did the vax/boost SECDEF get Rona? What’s up with that and is my exemption paperwork approved yet’
DoD ‘shut up and do what you are told or else’
Federal Judge ‘not so fast’

See, this is why they would never make me a judge.
I’d subpoena Austin to appear within 48 hours to testify, or default… fully knowing that the dumb bastard had the COVID and couldn’t show up.

This is frankly a reckoning that has been quite a few years on coming. In the entire history of vaccines they have literally NEVER granted a single religious exemption, even though they are, by law, required to evaluate them individually.

The actual documents are incredibly damning. The entire evolution of processing a religious exemption request is apparently around 50 steps – and the first few steps are FILLING OUT THE REJECTION PAPERWORK, and forwarding that around. It’s not until around step 35 that they actually do anything to ‘evaluate’ the claim – AFTER already effectively having approved the rejection.

This is not a good-faith system. This is a bullshit bureaucratic work-around so they can lie about abiding by the law.

Propping those proud Marines up with pussy masks is disgusting.

He insists the vaccines work because his case was mild. Never mind that he can’t possibly know that, because almost every case of covid is mild.

This trend of vile Dhimmi-crats’ loudly and publicly proclaiming that they’ve contracted the Wuhan virus, then, cladding themselves in masks and shields and parading around to show their self-perceived moral superiority, is about these idiots’ intrinsic, pathological narcissism and their constant need for attention.

Getting infected by the Wuhan virus shouldn’t be news, any longer. It’s like saying, “Oh, look at me — I’ve got seasonal flu!” It’s just absurd.

This might seem like a humble brag, but it isn’t. I’m collecting disability from my service related injuries this is one of them.

I wanted to be an EOD diver. I took the diver test in the Philippines and I passed and they on the Carl Vinson were so excited. One thing you never can have enough of on aircraft carriers is people who can get rid of bombs that escape into the wild. Word came back from D.C. They can’t (or couldn’t at the time, who knows how things have changed since RuPaul became CNO) take somebody who wasn’t surface warfare qualified into the community. Idea being that you’ve got to be qualified to drive salvage ships or minesweepers or the like.

I was like, F*** you I’ll just be a SEAL. Same test. Everybody including all the instructors thought originally I was trying to be a SEAL. The test for SEAL, unlike salvage or EOD diver, is competitive. And don’t make the mistake that your life will be easy if your want to be a Navy salvage diver.

So, after a few weeks of training to become a SEAL I woke up one fine Saturday morning unable to reach the remote. I’m laying their like a (bleeping) iguana and I can’t reach the damn remote.

Well, I says to nobody in particular, looks like I’m not going to be a SEAL.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | January 5, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    I say a few weeks. Actually it was months. I’m trying to get my 500 yard swim time down to where it’s withing the normal range for a SEAL, and I’m swimming a mile a day, which is no doubt exactly the wrong thing is you’re going for speed, but did I mention I was STOOOPID?

    And, then, yawn! I blew out my shoulders. Because your body isn’t designed for that kind of ****, Eventually, and I can say this as a Rugby player, it catches up to you. Ask my ankles.

Ooh, lucky! Lordy Lordy Lord y0ur Lord loyd Austin.

I imagine many of you were imagining my previous posts were just tedious excursions down memorary lane.