On June 2nd, Judge Steven Merryday extended a temporary restraining order in Air Force Officer vs. Austin for a cadet who faced immediate discipline after being denied his appeal for a religious accommodation from the COVID shot mandate. That order was scheduled to expire June 30th.
"Frankly, it needs to be in a preliminary injunction phase, where we don't have to continually ask for an extension," says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the firm representing the cadet. "This Air Force cadet is number-one in his class, so obviously, not having the COVID shot has no interference with his ability to excel in academics, sports, as well as in leadership and other service projects."
Even so, the Air Force wants to kick him out because he has religious reasons for not wanting to get the COVID shot.
"If he were someone who wanted to take all kinds of harmful hormone drugs and go through dangerous plastic surgery to remove healthy body parts, they would praise him; they would give him all kinds of accolades," Staver asserts. "But if he is the top of his class, very healthy, and doesn't want the COVID shot, they want to denigrate him, disparage him, and kick him out of the Air Force. We're not going to stand for that."
Liberty Counsel has already asked Judge Merryday to certify the entire class of the military and provide relief from the unlawful shot mandates to all class members in every branch.