Biden showing “religious hostility” to SEAL at center of vax mandate pursuit: lawyer
President Joe Biden and his Pentagon leaders portray “religious hostility” to US servicemen who do not want to submit to an injection of a coronavirus vaccine as a condition of their continued service, a lawyer for a Navy group SEALs who won an injunction against the administration in this regard this week told Fox News exclusively on Tuesday.
Michael Berry, an Afghan war veteran and general counsel for the First Liberty Institute, told “The Story” in an exclusive interview that the written decision of the judge appointed by George W. Bush in the case was a powerful rebuke of those hostilities.
“The First Liberty Institute argued in court and the court ruled that this is what it is: it violates the constitutional rights of our military,” Berry said of the case, US Navy SEALs 1-26 vs. Joseph R. Biden Jr., et al
JUDGE DECLINES MANDATE AGAINST VACCINE FOR SEALS REQUIRING RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION
“When the military allows hundreds, if not thousands of medical, administrative exemptions but does not grant a single religious exemption, the only way to describe it is simply blatant religious hostility,” he said. added.
“This is unconstitutional, violates federal law and, again, we are delighted that the court agrees with us and has ruled against the Navy and against the Department of Defense, and we will see where it goes at go from there. “
The SEALs in the lawsuit are members of various Christian denominations, while the main defendant, Biden, identifies as Roman Catholic.
The temporary injunction, issued by US District Judge Reed Charles O’Connor in Texas, said: “The Navy members in this case seek to defend the very freedoms they have sacrificed so much to protect.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic does not give the government any license to repeal these freedoms. There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment,” O’Connor wrote in his ruling. “There is no military exclusion from our Constitution.”
Berry told host Martha MacCallum that each of the plaintiffs in the case has a unique individual religious belief, as well as the right to hold and exercise that belief – regardless of Biden or the Pentagon’s perspective.
“Many of them object that the vaccine was tested or developed or produced using aborted fetal cells. Others prayed to God [and said] “My God, what do you want me to do? And God said no. ‘”
“It would violate their conscience and their religious beliefs to get the vaccine. Under the law, it’s absolutely protected in this country.”
A year ago, Biden told Fox News that COVID vaccines should not be mandatory, telling White House correspondent Peter Doocy at the time that he “would not require them to be mandatory.”
“I will do whatever I can, just as I don’t think masks should be made nationally mandatory – I will do whatever I can as President of the United States to encourage people do the right thing, and when they do, show it matters, ”the Wilmington Democrat said.
A major who spoke to Fox News Digital on condition of anonymity described the military’s vaccination mandate as “an unconstitutional edict which I think is highly targeted as a political purge, eliminating some of the best and brightest soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and guardians of the Space Force. “
Admiral John Kirby, Biden’s Pentagon spokesman, denied that DoD policy had anything “to do with trampling on the religious freedoms of men and women in uniform.”
Fox News’ Jon Brown contributed to this report.