A federal judge has barred the Department of Defense from punishing Navy forces for refusing to vaccinate.

A federal judge issued a preliminary restraining order On Monday, the Department of Defense prevented the Navy from taking “any adverse action” against 35 naval sailors who refused to be vaccinated against the corona virus, arguing that it violated their religious freedom.

Service members, including Navy SEALs and members of the Naval Special Warfare Command, have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration, arguing that their “true religious beliefs prevent everyone from receiving the Govt-19 vaccine.” Christian faith. “The Ordered by the Pentagon All active troops receive the vaccine.

Reed O’Connor, a judge in the Northern District of Texas, effectively prevented the department from punishing those troops.

“Our country calls on the men and women in our military to serve, suffer and sacrifice. But we are not asking them to set aside their citizenship and relinquish the rights they have pledged to protect, ”Judge O’Connor wrote in his 26-page order. He added: “The Govt-19 epidemic did not give the government any license to revoke those freedoms. Covit-19 is no exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exemption from our constitution.

The group represents a small fraction of the active troops from the United States, and by mid-December, there were very active-duty soldiers and members of the Navy. At least one dose was received Of the vaccine. Thousands have called for religious exemptions, officials said in December.

The result follows another banned By a judge in November against President Biden’s National Immunization Order for Health Workers.

Judge O’Connor, appointed by President George W. Bush, has faithfully thrown out many of the democratic principles challenged on the federal bench. In response to Monday’s ban, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted, “This is a big win!”

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A Pentagon spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. But on Monday evening, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said security officials were reviewing the restraining order. Washington Post.

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