Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Lloyd Austin requested the Supreme Court on Monday to block a lower federal court ruling granting Navy SEALs unvaccinated for religious reasons the ability to deploy.
The late February order by a federal Texas judge permitting SEALs the right to opt out of getting the shot via a religious exemption is an “extraordinary and unprecedented intrusion into core military affairs,” according to Austin’s SCOTUS filing.
Austin argued that the order “usurps the Navy’s authority to decide when service-members should be deployed to execute some of the military’s most sensitive and dangerous missions,” in the court documents.
BREAKING: All US military members will be required to get the Covid-19 vaccine by no later than mid-September, Defense Sec. Austin says. https://t.co/atm4Rf96LG
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 9, 2021
The Texas judge’s order came after 35 SEALs sued President Joe Biden and the DOD to be able to opt out of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate by citing religious reasons. The SEALs were successful, and the Biden administration appealed, aiming to re-impose the mandate.
William K. Lescher, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, claimed that one member getting COVID-19 poses a remarkable risk to everyday operations, according to the court filing.
One unvaccinated SEAL is currently going to be deployed on assignment on a submarine mission, as pointed out in the DOD court documents.