Pentagon Ordered to Specify How It Treats Religious Exemption Requests to Vaccine Mandate

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The U.S. Department of Defense has been ordered to outline successful item however work members tin use for spiritual exemptions to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate and however officials determine whether to o.k. oregon contradict specified requests.

Pentagon officials indispensable successful item explicate however troops tin use for a spiritual exemption, the process for resolving the request, the criteria by which applications are judged, and the process the persons deciding connected each petition usage to justice them, U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday, a George H. W. Bush nominee, ordered connected Oct. 29.

The Pentagon indispensable record the details connected Nov. 12 astatine the latest.

In addition, subject officials indispensable springiness “a precise connection of the fig of requests successful each subdivision for a spiritual exemption from injection of a COVID-19 vaccine; the fig of requests granted, denied, and pending; the fig of persons successful the equipped forces who are unvaccinated and who person submitted nary petition for exemption; the fig of persons whose exertion is resolved and who person received immoderate alteration successful the presumption and conditions of their service, including separation of immoderate kind; and the categories of results that person occurred and however galore of each benignant of effect has occurred,” Merryday wrote.

Some of those details, including however galore spiritual exemption requests person been granted and denied, would beryllium new. The subject has rejected requests to disclose those figures.

The bid came successful a lawsuit brought against the subject and different parts of the national government. The class-action suit alleges national vaccine mandates interruption aggregate laws.

At contented is the information that COVID-19 vaccines are being mandated but the lone mentation with Food and Drug Administration support was not disposable successful the United States as of Oct. 13.

Liberty Counsel, a instrumentality radical representing the plaintiffs, says that means defendants, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, are successful usurpation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Plaintiffs besides accidental the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment are being violated.

Plaintiffs see members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

The archetypal subject mandate deadline is Tuesday.

Defendants are acceptable to record a effect to the plaintiffs’ question for a preliminary injunction, oregon a impermanent artifact of the mandates, by Nov. 4.

Lawyers for the authorities said successful a abstracted filing that they volition code the claims that the mandates are successful usurpation of the law.

“In summation to addressing these claims, defendants’ memorandum volition besides code galore threshold law questions of jurisdiction nether Article III, nary of which were addressed by plaintiff,” they wrote.

A proceeding successful the lawsuit is scheduled for Nov. 15 astatine the national courthouse successful Tampa.

Zachary Stieber

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Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including authorities and tribunal cases. He started astatine The Epoch Times arsenic a New York City metro reporter.

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