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22 states file case in favor of fighting Navy Jab warrant

Twenty-two states filed a lawsuit on Monday in support of several US Navy SEALs seeking religious exemptions from President Joe Biden’s Covid mandate for military personnel.

Filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the amicus brief urges court not to show deference to the federal government for its continued denial of religious exemptions for military service members such as Navy SEALs, with the nearly two dozen states citing repeated violations of federal law by the Biden administration throughout the Covid pandemic.

“The administration’s near-total denial rate for religious exemptions suggests — on its own — that the administration has set aside [The Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s] requires pursuing a political decision to impose widespread vaccination,” the brief states. “The administration appears to be using another ‘workaround’ – overstepping legal limits to achieve higher vaccination rates, as it has done with the eviction moratorium and with its vaccination mandates.”

While states proclaim that there are “particularly sensitive areas of governmental interest” and that courts “should respect the professional judgments of experienced officials”, they note that “even where the interests of government are compelling, the exercise religion also requires respect”.

“Amici states have a vested interest in maintaining a balance between pursuing important state interests and protecting sincere religious beliefs. Respect for the judgments of policy makers should not be allowed to mask abuses of religious freedom,” they said.

In summarizing their case, the states then emphasize the importance of federalism and how “the [Biden] The administration has failed to respect the limits of its authority” during the pandemic.

“The administration acted despite legal limitations and then sought deference to its judgments,” the brief states. “But it is not enough to rely on [an official’s] determination” as to when an individual’s religious liberties should yield, particularly when history provides good reason to question that determination”.

“This Court should not show deference to the federal government,” she concluded.

When announcing the filing of the brief, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch defended the decision to back the SEALs, while slamming the Biden administration for its continued purge of unvaccinated U.S. military personnel.

“These brave men and women are risking their lives to defend our freedom and they should not be required to check their own freedom at the door because they are serving in our military – especially where the administration has demonstrated that its demand here is due to blind adherence to a political program,” she said in a statement.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares echoed similar sentiments, saying the Biden administration “has continually disrespected boundaries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The Navy SEALs are among our best and brightest, willing to sacrifice their lives to protect our freedoms. Those who filed religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine deserve to be heard and taken seriously,” he said.

Other state attorneys general who have signed the amicus brief include those representing Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. , West Virginia and Wyoming.

Originally filed in November by the First Liberty Institute on behalf of 35 active duty Navy SEALs and three reservists, the case before the Fifth Circuit has “since been amended to expand to a class action lawsuit encompassing all Navy service members seeking a religious accommodation”.

As reported by FoxNewswith the case “continuing to be litigated in lower courts nationwide,” unvaccinated SEALs and other sailors “who have yet to be fired by the U.S. government are stuck in limbo” and forced to ” alternative accommodation less than desirable by the military or prohibited from traveling outside of their base.

Several of those who were forcibly separated from their military colleagues following their decision to refuse the hit have since been subjected to horrific living conditions, with one sailor being moved to the carrier’s docking barge. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft describing the environment as “deplorable”.

“There’s mold everywhere and the toilets on the barge are backing up and leaking,” the sailor said. “Water leaks from the base of the toilet and pools near my bracket and drains down the hallway. On bad days it goes into the berths on the other side. The leaks seem to be sewage – it smells like sewage and it looks like it too.

“Needless to say, I don’t feel comfortable or safe in this environment and have contacted mental health services on several occasions,” the sailor added.

To date, only “47 requests for religious accommodation have been approved [by the Navy]and 4,251 applications remain pending,” according to the legal filing by the 22 states.


Shawn Fleetwood is an editor for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He is also a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous media including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

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