The United States Supreme Court affirmed the Biden administration's policy requiring military troops to get inoculated against COVID-19 or risk reassignment late Friday.
The result was 6 to 3 to partially reverse a Five Things Court of Appeals judgment that had prevented the Department of Defense from requiring service members to receive vaccines. The lower court agreed with either a number of Seal Team who claimed that the DoD directive's religious exclusions were overly restrictive. That ruling was largely overturned by Friday's verdict. The court decided to maintain the Navy's right to transfer Special forces and other military members who refuse to get vaccinated now at the demand of the Biden administration.
The unsigned order from the court was only one paragraph in length. "I find no foundation in this case for using the judicial authority in such a method that military commanders feel will harm the army of the United States in its defense of the American people," Court Brett Kavanaugh said in a concurring opinion.
Donald Thomas, Alito Alito, and Neil Scalia were among the three justices who dissented. In a letter in favor of himself and Gorsuch, Alito said, "By approving the State's requirement court does a severe disservice to the soldiers and women who filed this case." They said that the Navy had handled the SEALs "sloppily" by failing to provide more comprehensive safeguards to individuals who asserted religious concerns about the vaccination mandate.
The Joints who opposed the vaccine mandate might ask the lawyers to weigh in again at a later phase of the case because the issue was taken immediately on a so "shadow court" as an urgent appeal, but Friday's action reduces their chances of success.
Military vaccines have a long history, extending back to George Washington's order that the U.s. The military was immunized against smallpox in 1777. Currently, the military requires service members to receive nine more vaccinations, none of which have caused controversy.
35 military service members, including 26 SEALs, contested the military's COVID-19 vaccination requirement, which was released in August 2021 after the FDA gave final clearance to a number of vaccines. Court Reed Mckay, a state judge in Texas, halted the Navy's discharge of the unvaccinated service members and barred the army from taking any punitive action on them, even characterizing them as unfit for travel.
The United States Court of Appeals in Louisiana sustained O'Connor's ruling and denied the president's request for a stay pending appeal. The High Court has now ruled in favor of Biden's administration. The win, on the other hand, was relatively circumscribed.
The Pentagon requested the Supreme Court to overturn only the portion of the lower court judgment prohibiting the Military from assigning new unvaccinated service personnel. In summary, persons who refuse to get vaccinated for religious reasons can be reassigned for the time being, but they cannot be fired. Nonetheless, it may be able to refuse religious exemptions to most who apply. Furthermore, even a brief reassignment may make remaining in the military unappealing to objectors in practice.
The Navy SEALs allege that receiving the COVID-19 vaccination is a violation of their religion, so the Navy's process for reviewing religious exemptions would be a fraud, in violation of the Religious Freedom Preservation Act. They argue that the Navy is required by law to adopt a case-by-case approach.
Out of 4,000 petitions, the Navy has just granted one religious exception to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, but also that military member will not be on active duty at the time. The same troops who also are citing religious exemptions for such Covid-19 vaccine are likely to be unconcerned about the Army Department's other immunization mandates.
More crucially, the Defense Department said that it has the right to define whatever it meant to be psychologically and medically fit for deployment in "the army's most critical and dangerous tasks" by both the New constitutional legislation.
Judge O'Connor's ruling, the government said, jeopardized military preparedness by compelling the Navy to send one unvaccinated SEAL for service on a close-quartered submarine, for example.
A federal judge in Florida has stopped the Army from demoting the vessel's unvaccinated commanding officer, prompting the Navy to refuse to send a warship.
In a sworn testimony used in the government's appeal, Acting Chief for Naval Blockades Admiral William K. Lescher stated that allowing unvaccinated servicemembers to imperil the lives of their peers would be "a failure of duty." If even one person of a short SEAL squad becomes ill with COVID-19, a mission might be jeopardized, he added.