Navy SEALs win major legal victory against vaccine mandate, injunction issued

A federal district judge granted a preliminary injunction Monday against the enforcement of the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate against U.S. Navy SEALs.

Thirty-five Navy Special Warfare service members sued President Joe Biden in November 2021 stating that his directive for them to get vaccinated or face possible court martial or involuntary separation violates their First Amendment right to religious liberty and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993).

Texas-based judge Reed O’Connor noted in his order that RFRA specifically provides the, “Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

O’Connor, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, determined that the vaccine mandate substantially burdens the SEALs religious beliefs and the government has not shown requiring them to be vaccinated is the least restrictive means for furthering its interest of a healthy fighting force.- READ MORE