(PatriotWise.com) – On Tuesday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an order that prevents unvaccinated Air Force service members from being disciplined or involuntarily discharged from the military due to religious objections to the mandatory administration of the COVID-19 vaccination.
The ruling was issued as a part of an ongoing class action lawsuit in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that is aimed at granting relief to over 10,000 unvaccinated active duty, reserve, and National Guard members of the Air Force and Space Force who submitted a religious exemption to the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate but were denied or are awaiting a decision.
A judgment from the circuit court had earlier ordered the Air Force to stop any “disciplinary or separation procedures” that were being taken against the class while the litigation was still ongoing.
In the ruling that it issued on Tuesday, the court of appeals stated that the Air Force incorrectly relied on its ‘broadly conceived’ rationale for the vaccine mandate to refuse specific exemptions to the Plaintiffs, especially considering that it has given secular exemptions to their colleagues.
In addition, the court stated that the Air Force engages in an illegal “practice of denying religious exemptions to anyone who wants to remain in the service.” This practice is known as the “uniform practice.”
After the opinion was published, a spokesperson for the Air Force told Fox News Digital the following:
“The Department of the Air Force is complying with a court order to pause all disciplinary and adverse actions for members refusing the COVID-19 vaccine who submitted a timely religious accommodation request and fall within the definition of the court’s certified class.”
According to a report published in September by the acting inspector general of the Pentagon and that was obtained by Fox News Digital, there have been “concerning denials of religious liberty accommodation requests from COVID-19 immunization mandates.”
In the report handed over to the secretary of defense, he said, “We identified a pattern of broad assessments rather than the customized assessment required by Federal law and DoD and Military Service standards.”
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