EXCLUSIVE: A Navy SEAL commander is difficult Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin via recommending the approval of a carrier member’s request for a non secular exemption to the Biden management’s COVID-19 army vaccine mandate.
According to a submitting Monday within the fifth Circuit Court of Appeals first acquired via Fox News Digital, the commander of a Naval Special Warfare Group says he believes the regulation calls for the Navy to approve the SEAL’s lodging request and states that denying those requests is having a unfavorable impact on army recruiting and retention.
“In analyzing the Navy’s asserted compelling interests, the Commander concludes no such compelling interest exists when SWCC 3’s age, fitness, and medical history is considered alongside the marginal benefit of the vaccine to protect individuals against the Omicron variant of the virus, which now accounts for most COVID-19 infections,” stated the submitting via Heather Gebelin Hacker, recommend for the plaintiffs.
APPEALS COURT SAYS AIR FORCE ‘WRONGLY RELIED’ ON BROAD FORMULA TO DENY RELIGIOUS OBJECTIONS TO VAX MANDATE
This is the primary identified advisable approval via a senior army legit and at once pits the commander towards Secretary Austin. According to lawyer representing the plaintiffs, the Chief of Naval Operations will now need to come to a decision whether or not to reject the vaccine mandate coverage being driven via the Biden management or the advice of the commander.
“Indeed, according to the Commander, enforcing the mandate will result in the loss of personnel necessary for accomplishing the Commander’s mission. This endorsement further illustrates that the Navy has failed to satisfy RFRA’s rigorous standard,” the submitting stated.
The commander writes in his advice for exemption: “My force, the Naval Special Warfare Reserve Component, is grappling with retention challenges due in part to the manner in which religious accommodation requests like that from [SWCC 3] have thus far been processed and adjudicated by the Navy. For mission-related reasons subsequently discussed, I cannot afford to lose more quality Sailors.”
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, is on the heart of an ongoing lawsuit introduced via First Liberty Institute and Hacker Stephens LLP on behalf of 35 active-duty SEALs and 3 reservists in quest of a non secular exemption to the mandate.
“As Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh said, the commanders on the ground know best when it comes to maintaining combat readiness,” stated First Liberty’s senior recommend Michael Berry, regarding a March opinion from the justice in an emergency submitting within the SEALs’ case this is nonetheless pending within the fifth Circuit. “In this case, a Navy SEAL commander with decades of experience says kicking out his troops hurts our military worse than COVID ever could. America is now learning that the Pentagon bureaucrats are wildly out of touch with reality.”
The submitting additionally mentions a call within the sixth Circuit Court of Appeal ultimate week that upheld an injunction protective unvaccinated Air Force carrier participants from being punished or involuntarily terminated from the army because of spiritual objections to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
NAVY QUIETLY ROLLED BACK PUNISHMENTS FOR SEALS SEEKING RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS TO THE COVID VACCINE
“The Sixth Circuit noted that the Air Force (like the Navy here) asked it ‘to read RFRA as if it simply codified the ‘great deference’ that the Supreme Court had previously given to the military under the Free Exercise Clause. . . . We see no textual path to that result,’” the submitting stated.
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The appeals courtroom stated in its Tuesday opinion that the Air Force “wrongly relied on its ‘broadly formulated’ reasons for the vaccine mandate to deny specific exemptions to the Plaintiffs, especially since it has granted secular exemptions to their colleagues.”
The Navy didn’t instantly reply to Fox News Digital’s request for remark at the submitting.