Federal Judge Slams Defense Dept. and Marine Corps, Grants Class-Action Status in Vaccine Mandate Case
Order delays court-martial for Japan-based Marine.
How It Started: The Department of Defense dutifully enacted Biden’s vaccine mandate and had what eventually morphed into “zero tolerance” policies for service members requesting religious exemptions or who had already had COVID19.
U.S District Court Judge Steven Merryday issued a blistering rebuke of the Department of Defense and Marine Corps for refusing to grant religious accommodation requests to service members.
Merryday did so when issuing a 48-page ruling Thursday in which he granted class-action status for all active and reserve U.S. Marine Corps service men and women in a lawsuit filed against the Secretary of Defense over the department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
He also issued a classwide preliminary injunction against the Department of Defense and the U.S. Marine Corps, prohibiting them “from enforcing against a member of the class any order, requirement, or rule to accept COVID-19 vaccination; from separating or discharging from the Marine Corps a member of the class who declines COVID-19 vaccination; and from retaliating against a member of the class for the member’s asserting statutory rights under RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act].”
The class includes everyone “on active duty or in the ready reserve who serve under the command of the Marine Corps; who were affirmed by a chaplain as harboring a sincere religious objection; who timely submitted an initial request for a religious accommodation; who were denied the initial request; who timely appealed the denial of the initial request; and who were denied or will be denied after appeal.”
A copy of the ruling is HERE.
The judge noted that 3,733 Marines had requested religious accommodations from receiving the COVID-19 shot ordered by the Secretary of Defense Austin in August 2021.
Yet the Marine Corps has granted only 11 accommodations which included only those who are due for retirement and prompt separation.
Then the court posed the question: “Is it more likely than not — in nearly all 3,733 cases —that no reasonable accommodation was available?”
“Because the record reveals the substantial likelihood of a systemic failure by the Marine Corps to discharge the obligations established by RFRA, a class-wide preliminary injunction is warranted to preserve the status quo, to permit the full development of the record without prejudice to the plaintiffs, and to permit both a trial and a detailed, fact-based resolution of the controlling issues of fact and law,” Merryday wrote.
“When Congress acts to preserve liberty, especially a liberty historically and constitutionally fundamental to the United States, the courts — the intended preserve of liberty — must not evade or equivocate, must not, so to speak, sacrifice the fundamental right of thousands of privates to Free Exercise in order to gratify the preference of a few generals,” the court continued.
The ruling means an indefinite trial delay for a Japan-based Marine who allegedly skipped two flights stateside to face discharge for refusing a COVID-19 vaccine.
Arnett claims her prosecution stems from the fact that she refused the COVID-19 vaccine mandated last year by the Marine Corps and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. She based her refusal to board those flights in her belief the vaccine mandate is unlawful, she said in an online interview with an anti-vaccination group, Children’s Health Defense, in July.
“My lawyer was able to brilliantly tie the logic together with my decisions on May 7 and May 14 inextricably to the vaccine mandate, which is what I had been trying to have done all along,” she said, referring to the scheduled flights.
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With recent updates to CDC guidelines re natural immunity, efficacy of the vax and quarantine protocol along with numerous studies showing little to no benefit of vax for young, healthy people the Govt is going to have finally argue on the merits v relying upon the CT to simply grant them deference.
Everyone at this point knows the vax is a joke (at least for the young and healthy).
Vax mandate is based on the science of paranoia
“Merryday did so when issuing a 48-page ruling Thursday in which he granted class-action status for all active and reserve U.S. Marine Corps service men and women in a lawsuit filed against the Secretary of Defense over the department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.”
Will this carry over to the rest of the Armed Services? Will service members who were discharged over the Covid scamdemic be eligible for reinstatement? Having 62k NG and Reserve would go a long way towards maintaining the force in the face of recruiting shortages.
You’ll notice they’re ONLY entertaining this on religious grounds.
Not on the grounds that its a piece of shit shot that DOES NOT DO what they claimed it would do, that there are serious and quantifiable side effects (miscarriages most obviously), and that the DoD was mandating they get the vaccine EVEN IF A DOCTOR WAS EXPLICITLY RECOMMENDING AGAINST IT BECAUSE OF PREVIOUS SEVERE REACTIONS TO IT.
This is just a red herring that cedes the idea that they had any right to mandate this experimental, unproven, and UTTERLY INEFFECTIVE shot at all.
No, they are doing this because its a legally defined ground to resist with and it CAN WIN in a court.
Arguing against the vaccine on grounds of effectiveness and all those undefinable things is a guaranteed trip to legal purgatory and never ends.
True, I think. But possibly limited. There are facts that have since been admitted that I think could still be brought to bear. For instance, vaxx mandates were issued on the presumption the vaxxes would prevent transmission. If they don’t prevent a Marine (or anyone else) from becoming sick, there is no argument that the vaxxes protect the force. Also, it’s been admitted that the vaxxes are too highly focused on a virus variant that is no longer extant in the wild, and is largely ineffective against current variants. Requiring a COVID vaxx now is like requiring vaccination with last year’s flu vaccine. Mandating a vaxx now is arbitrary because its administration can’t fulfill the government’s interests. Govt might as well mandate the injection of Marines with saline, because it’s similarly ineffective, but that would be similarly arbitrary. It’s further been recognized that current strains are less dangerous – people become less ill and the IFR is even lower than it was originally (and even then it was never a lethal threat to healthy young people). All of this has been admitted by the CDC and the W.H.O., the authorities courts relied upon to support NPIs and vaxx mandates earlier. But the foundations of government’s interventions have eroded away, and that erosion has been officially acknowledged.
The other point seldom addressed by the govt is why insist upon the vax versions still under EUA when there is a fully approved version available? If an alternative exists that was fully approved under a more normal extended process how can the govt continue to mandate a vax approved under an EUA?
In fact, how is the EUA version even authorized since two necessary conditions for using an EUA are (1) emergency must exist, (2) no alternative exists.
For the matter recent changes by CDC in policy recommendations are pretty close to an admission that Covid is now endemic and therefore past the emergency phase. Let’s not overlook the govt’s position in arguing that continued use of title 42 authority was unnecessary because Covid was no longer an emergency.
The govt can’t win on the merits. They will continue to demand deference and hope the CTs are still gullible enough to grant it despite the many changes in facts since MAR of 2020.
Recruitment is in the toilet. No sane man or woman is going to sign up for mandatory transvestite stripper shows.
Any Biden judge means the next president has fewer slots to fill with good judges like this one.
Let this case be exhibit #(Billion? Trillion?) for giving your ENTIRE support to Republicans retaking the senate this November.
I’m not arguing either side of the issue; however, there are some pertaining issues/questions.
As a member of the armed forces, you must receive many vaccinations. Excluding COVID, how many of those were developed using fetal tissue? Did the military know, and does it inform enlistees about the presence or use of fetal tissue? Do the services provide accommodations for members on vaccinations? For example, allergies to eggs or nuts?
Since the vaccines were developed and approved by the FDA without the usual lengthy approval process performed on effectiveness and side effects, is the requirement a violation of the policy not to use military members as test subjects?
These separations are based on the premise that the requirement to take the vaccination, i.e., violation of a direct order. There is a need to establish if the FDA approval is legal. If the FDA process did not follow proper or customary practice and the vaccines are experimental, does that invalidate the Pentagon’s direct order?
Is the practice of granting exemptions to members retiring or otherwise leaving authorized throughout the Department of the Navy? Does the procedure apply throughout the services?
I’m really sick of the “fetal tissue” issue. That is not the only religious objection that can be made to the vaxxes. Nor is it even necessary to make a religious objection. There is still such a thing as a “conscientious objection”, an objection made due to one’s personal beliefs (not necessarily religious in nature) and philosophy.
The main reason the DOD shouldn’t be mandating COVID vaccination is because the vaxxes are still officially experimental. This issue was settled by the courts during the Obama administration. DOD knows this is a problem which is why they’ve been telling service personnel the vaxxes have been “approved.” This is a lie. No approved vaccine is available in the United States. Which is why DOD has apparently been caught by two (officer) whistle-blowers; one who found vaxxes from an experimental lot that were re-labeled “Comirnaty” (Pfizer’s trade name for its approved vaxx), and another who found a batch of vaxxes labeled as “Comirnaty”, but made at a factory not authorized by the FDA do so. DOD told the latter whistle-blower the lot was made in Wisconsin, but the lot number indicated it had been manufactured in Belgium. (Neither is a location at which the FDA has authorized the production of Comirnaty, a vaxx Pfizer said some months ago would never be available in the US.)
At this point the presumption should be that every shotadministered to a servicemember was illegal. Only APPROVED vaccines can be ordered to be given. That means until the Comirnaty shot was available, all they had was the emergency use authorization. And it seems Pfizer has never manufactured Comirnaty.
Are there any class-action lawsuits that include civil servants? I was nearly fired and left in Japan as an illegal with all my personal belongings with no way back to the states. The State Department did not care, the US consulate did not care what was going to happen to me. I lost tens of thousands of dollars in potential savings as well as the costs with moving back home earlier than contracted.