Judge Halts Punishment of Airmen Who Filed for Religious Exemptions from Vaccine Mandate

Judge Matthew W. McFarland of the Southern District of Ohio on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction against the Air Force from punishing airmen who filed for a religious exemption to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate.

The order came almost two weeks after McFarland ordered a temporary restraining order against the Air Force from pursuing punitive measures against those airmen, and the Air Force did not successfully argue against it.

McFarland wrote that the Air Force failed to raise any “persuasive arguments” for why the Court should not extend an existing Preliminary Injunction prohibiting the Air Force from punishing a group of plaintiffs to all airmen seeking religious exemption. He added:

[T]he Court reminds Defendants that ‘[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Thus, due to the systematic nature of what the Court views as violations of Airmen’s constitutional rights to practice their religion as they please, the Court is well within its bounds to extend the existing preliminary injunction to all Class Members.

Air Force Class Preliminary Injunction – July 27 by Kristina Wong on Scribd

Aaron Siri, whose lawfirm represented the plaintiffs, tweeted: “Proud to announce our firm, along with @ChrisWiest11 and Tom Bruns, just obtained a national preliminary injunction prohibiting the air force, space force, and air national guard from penalizing service members that refused a C19 V for religious reasons.”

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