Federal Court on Military Religious Exemptions from COVID Vaccination
Just Steven Merryday (M.D. Fla.) denies certain related claims today (Navy Seal 1 v. Biden), but deferred judgment on these ones:
Whether characterized as a facial challenge or as a class of precisely similar as-applied challenges, requiring only a single judicial determination, the plaintiffs’ contention is — based on current data — quite plausible that each branch’s procedure for requesting a religious exemption is a ruse that will result inevitably in the undifferentiated (and therefore unlawful under RFRA) denial of each service member’s request. Particularly, the data produced by the defendants show that more than 16,643 requests for a religious exemption pend. The military has granted no exemptions but has denied hundreds.
This disparity, although susceptible to a benign explanation is, as we
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