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Jason S. Miyares
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Attorney General Miyares Joins Coalition of States Supporting Religious Exemptions of Navy SEALs
Richmond, VA – Attorney General Miyares today joined 21 other states attorneys general in filing an amicus brief supporting the religious liberty of Navy SEALs seeking religious exemptions from the mandated COVID vaccine.
"The Biden Administration has continually disrespected boundaries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, undermining individual liberty and forcing Americans to obey dictates from unelected Washington bureaucrats. Navy SEALs are some of our best and brightest, willing to sacrifice their lives to protect our freedoms. Those who have filed religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine deserve to be heard and taken seriously,” said Attorney General Miyares.
The Biden Administration asks that the military be given extraordinary deference in their decision to direct compliance with the vaccine mandate, even overriding fundamental freedoms. The Attorneys General argue (1) that states have managed to balance fundamental freedoms and sensitive state interests during the COVID pandemic and (2) that the words and actions of the Administration have demonstrated that its demand for deference be met with skepticism.
According to U.S. Department of Defense data, of 105,277 reported COVID cases within the U.S. Navy, only 17 deaths and 1 hospitalization have occurred. Yet only 47 religious accommodation requests have been approved and 4,251 requests remain pending – and all 47 of the approvals occurred after this case was filed and met with criticism from the federal judiciary.
This case had previously reached the U.S. Supreme Court. On an emergency motion, the Biden Administration asked the Court to partially stay an injunction against the vaccine mandate covering the Seals and the Court stayed the injunction only to the extent that it affected assignment, deployment, and operational decisions. The case now continues in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Attorneys General of Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming signed the amicus brief in U.S. Navy SEALs 1-26 v. Biden, which can be found HERE.