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Nine Air Force Members file Class Action Lawsuit against DoD for Religious Discrimination

Nine Air Force Members file Class Action Lawsuit against DoD for Religious Discrimination

Meanwhile, 3 Air Force Academy cadets who refused vaccine won’t be commissioned.

Nine members of the U.S. Air Force have filed a class action lawsuit asserting the government violated their rights when it stripped them of their duties and denied them promotions after they refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to religious reasons.

Fist Liberty Institute and law firm Schaerr Jaffe LLP filed the lawsuit against the Department of Defense and the Air Force on Friday afternoon on behalf of the service members, who represent about 2% of the Air Force members who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The filing alleges that the Department of Defense is violating the First Amendment rights of the service members by imposing a vaccine mandate that “substantially burdens” free exercise of religion, despite granting hundreds of administrative and medical exemptions. In addition, the lawsuit argues that the government does not have a compelling interest and has not provided service members other less restrictive manners in which to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“At a time of instability and ever-increasing threats around the world, you’d think the Pentagon would want every service member at their post. But instead, military leaders are forcing tens of thousands of our bravest out of the service because they’ve chosen to live according to their faith,” First Liberty Institute’s Mike Berry told Fox News Digital.

The lawsuit names the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin, and Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall as defendants.

I would like to point out that despite being vaccinated and boosted, Austin still managed to contract a case of covid from which he seems to have recovered without significant jeopardy to our military.

The Air Force members suing have non-trivial reasons for rejecting the vaccine.

Two of the plaintiffs say their religious beliefs prohibit them from receiving any vaccine tested or produced using aborted fetal cell lines, according to the class action. Others say they believe the mRNA technology used in some COVID-19 vaccines violates God’s creation of the human genome.

Two of the service members claim they received medical exemptions to the vaccination mandate because of allergies to two ingredients in the vaccine, but both say they had their medical exemptions revoked after the Air Force deemed their allergy test results insufficient.

Fist Liberty Institute is also representing Navy SEALS in a similar lawsuit. There has been recent success in that case, as the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas expanded the lawsuit and issued a preliminary injunction issued to include every U.S. Navy service member who requested a religious accommodation from the vaccine mandate.

This decision stops the Department of Defense from punishing any Navy personnel who have religious objections to the mandate.

“Here, the potential class members have suffered the ‘same injury,’ arising from violations of their constitutional rights,” Judge Reed O’Connor said in his ruling. “Each has submitted a religious accommodation request, and each has had his request denied, delayed, or dismissed on appeal. Exactly zero requests have been granted.

And while Defendants encourage this Court to disregard the data, it is hard to imagine a more consistent display of discrimination. As previously explained in this Court’s preliminary injunction order, Plaintiffs have suffered the serious injury of infringement of their religious liberty rights under RFRA and the First Amendment.”

Meanwhile, there is an update on the U.S. Air Force Academy cadets poised for graduation but who did not want to get a covid vaccination. Three of them have been allowed to graduate with degrees, but they were not commissioned.

Academy spokesman Dean Miller said that a fourth cadet who had refused the vaccine until about a week ago, decided to be vaccinated and will graduate and become an Air Force officer.

In a statement, Miller said that while the three will get a degree “they will not be commissioned into the United States Air Force as long as they remain unvaccinated.” He added that a decision on whether to require the three to reimburse the United States for education costs in lieu of service will be made by the secretary of the Air Force.

As of Saturday, the Air Force is the only military academy, so far, where cadets are not being commissioned due to vaccine refusal. All of the more than 1,000 Army cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduated and were commissioned as officers earlier in the day and all were vaccinated.

The Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, said Saturday that none of the Navy or Marine Corps seniors there are being prevented from commissioning due to vaccine refusals. That graduation is later this week, and the Air Force ceremony is Wednesday in Colorado. Ahead of that ceremony, the U.S. Air Force Academy Board conducted its standard review of whether this year’s class had met all graduation requirements on Friday.

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Comments

Conservative Beaner | June 4, 2022 at 12:32 pm

The military will not forget. If they can’t get them for covid they will find something else to destroy their career. Better they leave if they win the decision.

    Obama got rid of all the capable military in the upper ranks. What’s left are political partisans and sucksups, not necessarily the talented people we need. They’ll be out for blood.

I’m convinced the communists in the Biden administration are intentionally trying to destroy the US military from the inside. All the branches of the military are suffering a massive reduction in recruits despite offer for the first time every $50K signing bonuses. The Army is expected to fall short 27K recruits for FY22 that ends in September, a massive number. The Air Force and Navy are offering up to $50K for quick ship orders. On the retention side, mid-grade officers and enlisted have not been re-enlisting and many have retired. By some metrics, manning at mid-grade levels is at 60%.

The repercussions of allowing them to get away with calling these (no better than) temporarily effective jabs “vaccinations” continue to escalate. Even if these members had gotten the jabs in the first place, they would have long since worn off and they could still be persecuted for not getting their 3rd or 4th booster.

Re: the last paragraph. The AFA graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 25 and the USNA graduation (they had Biden as the commencement speaker) was on Friday, May 27.

The only reason lawyers are now taking these cases is that a few cases with deep pockets backing went up against the military- and won. Were I on active duty, I’d have refused the vaccination that isn’t.

I retired from active duty in 1994. In 1994 I might not have refused the vaccination. But in 1994 I wouldn’t have had the internet to inform me of the history of previous coronavirus vaccination attempts in both animals and humans. A 100% failure rate, and since in some animal cases it made things worse- a rate really worse than 100%, but that can’t be measured.

In the case of mRNA vaccinations, again, before the dreaded covid vaccine that doesn’t work- a 100% failure rate.

So two things with 100% failure rates combined into one? Yeah, not worth trying it out. Not especially since with the advent of the internet- we knew right away that a Vitamin D level of >50 ng/ml upped your survival chances to close to 100%, from 99.5%. We also knew that that 0.5% came from people who were otherwise unhealthy anyway.

In 1994 none of that information was available to just anyone. Or even to your average researcher.

Feeding people lies in today’s world doesn’t work as well as it used to work. The internet allows for the free flow of information, and despite the best efforts of the “fact checkers”, who controlled the major gateways ordinary people use, such as Twitter and Facebook, information got out. On blogs like this. Substack came around. Other platforms developed.

Much as I hate to say it, the single best designed platform for the masses to stay in touch with each other is Facebook. But you can always email everyone! Apparently the major email platforms are censoring emails and sending messages they don’t approve of to your junkmail folder- if they’re delivered at all. Numerous stories of this.

Why I think Facebook- and other social media purporting to connect everyone- should be treated as common carriers. We can all call everyone regardless of carrier because- interconnection capabilities exist. Doesn’t exist across social platforms, and I don’t see how it can.

    gospace in reply to gospace. | June 4, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Stupid automiscorrect. Fooling people, not feeding people…

    RandomCrank in reply to gospace. | June 4, 2022 at 5:55 pm

    How many IUs of Vitamin D produces 50mg/ml? What evidence is there for your claim? I tend to believe it, but I want a link or three.

      gospace in reply to RandomCrank. | June 4, 2022 at 6:59 pm

      How many IUs daily to produce and maintain a level of 50 ng/ml for you? I can’t tell you, nor can anyone else. What latitude do you live at? Do you engage in a lot of outdoor activities or indoor? What’s your weight? (Yes, that determines how much D you need to drive your levels up- D is stored in fat.) But for a bunch of links, just not one, on Vitamin D and how it’s ignored, go to this one link:
      https://accordingtohoyt.com/2021/10/23/fifty-ways-to-leave-the-coof-guest-post-by-gospace/
      There are a lot of study links there on Vitamin D studies and how higher levels predict better outcomes in all URIs, and lower levels predict worse outcomes. And links to studies on other supplements and their effect on the dreaded covid.

      I take 2000 IU daily over and above what’s in my multi and the ½ gallon of milk a week I drink. And in good weather walk outside at least 30 minutes a day with bare arms. It’s enough to keep my level up even in winter.

    RandomCrank in reply to gospace. | June 4, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    Oops, 50ng/ml

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