As AFN reported last week, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew McFarland in Cincinnati has granted a temporary restraining order for every member of the U.S Air Force against the Department of Defense's COVID shot mandate.
Daniel Schmid, senior litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel, says members of the Navy and the Air Force now have class-wide protection from the mandates, and his organization is still fighting for the other branches.
"We are in the middle of preparing an amended complaint for the Army," Schmid details. "The Army has been a little bit different in that they issued final appeal denials, and a lot of the courts have said the initial denial is not enough; 'until they force you to accept the vaccination or be terminated on final appeal, then we're not going to give you judicial relief.'"
While no soldiers have been kicked out for refusing his jab, the attorney asserts they still have been harmed by the mandates.
"I would contend, and I think rightly so, that the mere act of forcing them to choose between their religious beliefs or accepting a vaccine is itself an injury," Schmid submits. "But the way the courts have kind of looked at it is 'until you have your final appeal with the Army, you're not really injured yet.' So to some degree, it's good news to those guys because they're not subject to either removal or discharge or accepting the shot."
But expecting that they will eventually face those alternatives, Liberty Counsel is continuing to pursue a legal remedy for them.