Liberty Counsel filed a memorandum of law in federal court before Judge Steven Merryday opposing the Department of Defense’s (DOD) attempt to dismiss class action relief from the unlawful federal COVID shot mandate which includes 15 plaintiffs who currently serve in the United States Marine Corps.
Class action relief is needed now to prevent these military heroes from facing discharge, court martial, eviction, other life-altering disciplinary procedures, and termination. The plaintiffs are Marines who have been given a mandate to receive an injection that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs since all of the COVID shots are associated with aborted fetal cells.
Liberty Counsel presents the argument that, “As the Eleventh Circuit held: ‘We will not force a plaintiff to choose between intentionally violating a law to gain access to judicial review and foregoing what he or she believes to be constitutionally protected activity in order to avoid criminal prosecution.’” Therefore, a military plaintiff should not need to exhaust administrative remedies before bringing a First Amendment or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) challenge to military policies.
The DOD has not accommodated any religious requests for the Marines to abstain from a COVID shot and has violated free exercise rights of service members under both the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In addition, this court has already seen plaintiffs face such irreparable harm without judicial intervention on their behalf. However, the military has approved and accommodated thousands of medical exemptions which makes it illogical that plaintiffs’ religious-based refusal to take a COVID-19 shot would seriously impede military function.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “These military heroes have sacrificed everything to defend America. Yet the DOD continues to betray these military heroes by denying them the freedom for which they defend this country. And for what cause? Simply because they seek an accommodation from the COVID-19 shots on account of their sincerely held religious beliefs. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is double vaxxed and double boosted and yet has contracted COVID twice in 2022. As we have said, the COVID shots are neither safe nor effective. Yet the DOD continues to use the mandate to purge the military of honorable service members who love God and love America. This is wrong and Liberty Counsel will not stop defending these heroes.”