Foundation for Moral Law

Foundation for Moral Law

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Air Force Vaccine Victory in the Sixth Circuit

November 30, 20222 min read

The Foundation for Moral Law is celebrating yesterday's Doster v. Kendall decision of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirming a lower court class-wide injunction prohibiting the Air Force from requiring personnel with religious objections to undergo COVID vaccinations.

The Air Force had required all personnel to get the vaccine. Plaintiff Air Force personnel filed suit, claiming the order violated their religious beliefs. The District Court agreed and enjoined the Air Force from disciplining or discharging USAF personnel who refuse the vaccine on religious grounds. The District Court later expanded the order into a class injunction protecting all USAF personnel with religious objections. The Air Force appealed to the Sixth Circuit, and the Foundation filed an amicus brief supporting those who had religious objections. The Sixth Circuit unanimously affirmed the lower court's order.

Read the Foundation's amicus brief here. It argued that, although the Air Force had established a policy for considering religious exemptions, the Air Force in fact did nothing but rubber-stamp denials. The Court agreed, noting that, "[a]t argument, the Air Force agreed that it has granted zero religious exemptions to anyone who does not plan to leave the service within a year." The Court further reasoned that, because the Air Force granted thousands of medical and administrative exemptions, their argument that military necessity prevents religious objections was unpersuasive. The Court concluded that First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act both protect military personnel.

Judge Roy Moore, Founder and President Emeritus of the Foundation and a West Point graduate, hailed the decision as "a long-overdue victory for military personnel over a flawed and useless policy that has ruined the careers of many soldiers and the health of many others."

Foundation Senior Counsel John Eidsmoe, primary author of the amicus brief and a retired Air Force Judge Advocate, noted that "the Sixth Circuit accepted our argument that the USAF failed to give its personnel the individualized determinations that the Constitution requires in Stanley v. Illinois." Colonel Eidsmoe added, "I love the Air Force, but I also love the men and women who wear Air Force blue, and I believe they are entitled to the protection of the Constitution they have sworn to defend."

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blog image

Air Force Vaccine Victory in the Sixth Circuit

November 30, 20222 min read

The Foundation for Moral Law is celebrating yesterday's Doster v. Kendall decision of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirming a lower court class-wide injunction prohibiting the Air Force from requiring personnel with religious objections to undergo COVID vaccinations.

The Air Force had required all personnel to get the vaccine. Plaintiff Air Force personnel filed suit, claiming the order violated their religious beliefs. The District Court agreed and enjoined the Air Force from disciplining or discharging USAF personnel who refuse the vaccine on religious grounds. The District Court later expanded the order into a class injunction protecting all USAF personnel with religious objections. The Air Force appealed to the Sixth Circuit, and the Foundation filed an amicus brief supporting those who had religious objections. The Sixth Circuit unanimously affirmed the lower court's order.

Read the Foundation's amicus brief here. It argued that, although the Air Force had established a policy for considering religious exemptions, the Air Force in fact did nothing but rubber-stamp denials. The Court agreed, noting that, "[a]t argument, the Air Force agreed that it has granted zero religious exemptions to anyone who does not plan to leave the service within a year." The Court further reasoned that, because the Air Force granted thousands of medical and administrative exemptions, their argument that military necessity prevents religious objections was unpersuasive. The Court concluded that First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act both protect military personnel.

Judge Roy Moore, Founder and President Emeritus of the Foundation and a West Point graduate, hailed the decision as "a long-overdue victory for military personnel over a flawed and useless policy that has ruined the careers of many soldiers and the health of many others."

Foundation Senior Counsel John Eidsmoe, primary author of the amicus brief and a retired Air Force Judge Advocate, noted that "the Sixth Circuit accepted our argument that the USAF failed to give its personnel the individualized determinations that the Constitution requires in Stanley v. Illinois." Colonel Eidsmoe added, "I love the Air Force, but I also love the men and women who wear Air Force blue, and I believe they are entitled to the protection of the Constitution they have sworn to defend."

covidvaccinemandatemilitary
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We depend on your support to fight for freedom.

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