08/25/2022 / By Mary Villareal
U.S. Marines who had been denied their requests for religious exemptions from the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine mandates are safe from discharge for now, thanks to a ruling by a federal judge.
A class-wide injunction that prohibits the Marine Corps from enforcing the Biden administration’s military vaccine mandate has been granted by U.S. District Court Judge Steven D. Merryday on August 18.
The injunction provided relief to Marines who were affirmed by a chaplain as harboring a sincere religious objection to the vaccine. (Related: US soldiers sue federal agencies over military’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements.)
Merryday wrote in his order that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, et. al., are “preliminarily enjoined (1) from enforcing against a member of the class any order, requirement, or rule to accept COVID-19 vaccination; (2) from separating or discharging from the Marine Corps a member of the class who declines COVID-19 vaccination; and (3) from retaliating against a member of the class for the member’s asserting statutory rights under [Religious Freedom Restoration Act].”
This order adds the Marine Corps to the branches of the military that have been blocked by court orders from taking punitive action toward those who have sought a religious exemption from the vaccine mandates. The Navy and Air Force were also blocked from taking action against service members who sought relief on the basis of religious freedom.
Merryday also discussed at length the Marine Corps issuing blanket denials to 99.7 percent of Marines who requested religious accommodations without considering each of their personal circumstances, as the service is required to do.
The Marines have failed to adhere to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which required the federal government to prove that a compelling governmental interest requires certain action and that no less restrictive alternatives exist.
This includes rejecting the vast majority of religious exemptions, despite many Marines being deemed by chaplains to hold sincere religious beliefs. They are also not offering compelling reasons to support vaccinating the minority of Marines.
An August 4 update also said 95 percent of Marines are fully vaccinated or have received their primary series of the vaccine.
As of the same date, there had been 3,733 requests from Marines for religious accommodations, but the Corps granted only 11 requests (or less than three-tenths of a percent), which were for those due for retirement and separation.
It was previously reported that the Marine Corps had been issuing blanket denials to Marines using the same form letter despite the legal requirement for individual consideration.
Merryday noted that the “formularized denial” undermines the contention that the Marine Corps conducts an “individualized assessment” of an applicant.
To justify the denial of the applicant’s appeal, the Marine Corps said that these further a compelling interest in military readiness as well as in securing the health of the force.
Merryday also noted that the denials did not assess the age, fitness, health or natural immunity of the applicants. They also did not assess whether or not a particular applicant is acutely vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, or whether their daily and tangible circumstances of service are likely to result in the transmission of COVID-19 to Marines as to warrant the suspension of the applicant’s Free Exercise.
The Marines are now forbidden from discharging any member of the class and from retaliating against them. (Related: Biden regime compiling lists of religious covid vaccine objectors.)
“Our courageous U.S. Marines finally have relief from these unlawful COVID shot mandates,” said Mat Staver, chairman and founder of Liberty Counsel, the group representing the Marines in the case. “The Department of Defense has relentlessly violated the law and ignored their religious freedom. Today, that lawlessness ends.”
Visit Vaccines.news for more updates about COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Watch the video about 169 Marines kicked out for not taking the vaccine.
This video is from the anon1556 channel on Brighteon.com.
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