(BLP) – Will medical freedom in the armed forces become a reality after all? A Covid-19 inoculation mandate for members of the United States Air Force which took effect in September 2021 was paused Thursday after a federal court in Ohio put forward a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the mandate in any cases involving a religious exemption request.
“The facts show Defendants [the Air Force]have engaged in a pattern of denying religious accommodation requests,” Judge Matthew McFarland stated in the order.
McFarland did appear to be correct in his assertion that inquiries for religious exemptions are rarely approved by the United States Military, if at all. Take for instance this CNN article written in February of 2022, which reported that according to service data, the US military has approved religious exemptions to its Covid-19 inoculation order for only 15 service members out of approximately 16,000 requests.
Similarly, the Air Force has apparently granted just one percent of religious accommodation requests, many of which are servicemen with benefits on the link who hope to soon retire.
Per McFarland’s order, members of the Air Force who have applied for religious exemptions cannot be forced into taking a Covid-19 inoculation regardless of whether it is on hold or has been previously denied.
The case is called Doster v. Kendall, and the full ruling can be found below.
Attorneys from the Thomas More Society, which describes itself as a “national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, religious liberty, and election integrity,” called the ruling a “victory for religious freedom.” The Post Millenial reported that The Thomas More Society has filed their own lawsuits regarding Covid-19 inoculation mandates in the military as well, winning their first preliminary injunction against the mandates set by the forces in the case Air Force Officer v. Austin.
“This is a huge victory for our country and religious freedom,” declared Stephen Crampton, a Thomas More Society Senior Counsel who is reportedly representing US service members in the Air Force Officer case in Georgia.
“Not only does this decision protect the plaintiffs in the Doster case, but it also protects the fundamental First Amendment rights of Air Force service members all over the nation, including those in the Space Force, Air Force Academy Cadets, and those in the Reserves.”
“The court has correctly certified the class in Doster and rightly enjoined the Air Force mandate,” said Crampton. “It is gratifying to see the courts uphold their constitutional duty to ensure other branches of the government do not run roughshod over fundamental rights, as the Air Force has been doing here.”