Fifteen active-duty members of the United States Marine Corps are pushing back against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and seeking class-action relief from “the unlawful federal COVID shot mandate on behalf of those who currently serve in the United States Marine Corps.”
According to a Liberty Counsel press release on Thursday, the organization filed an amended complaint last week on behalf of 15 Marines who claim the COVID-19 vaccine requirement “violates their sincerely held religious beliefs since all of the COVID shots are associated with aborted fetal cells.”
“They have been refused any religious exemption or accommodation,” Liberty Counsel explained. “These service members had until November 28, 2021, to become fully vaccinated. However, these dates have passed, and disciplinary actions have already commenced.”
Liberty Counsel asserted that the plaintiffs suitably represent all United States Marines who are subject to Biden’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate, have requested a religious exemption or accommodation from the Mandate based on sincerely held religious beliefs against receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, and have been denied a religious exemption or accommodation.”
“Relief for these military heroes is needed now to prevent them from facing discharge, court martial, other life-altering disciplinary procedures, and termination,” said Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman. “We continue to fight for their freedom as no service member should be forced to choose between serving God and serving country.”
Liberty Counsel and the Marines await Judge Steven Merryday’s decision on “whether the court will certify the class of Marines and enter a class wide preliminary injunction.”
“In the next couple weeks, Liberty Counsel will also be filing additional amended complaints adding service members from the various branches who are located in the Tampa District. Liberty Counsel will continue to press for classwide injunctive relief for the all the military branches,” Liberty Counsel said.
Elsewhere in the military, thousands of troops are facing forced separation over the military-wide vaccine mandate.
Last week, the U.S. Army announced it was blocking 40,000 National Guard and 22,000 Reserve soldiers, who had not taken the COVID vaccine, from participating in training — meaning they will also not get paid or receive some military benefits. The soldiers may eventually be kicked out of the service.
“Soldiers who refuse the vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption request are subject to adverse administrative actions, including flags, bars to service, and official reprimands,” an Army spokesperson told Military.com. “In the future, Soldiers who continue to refuse the vaccination order without an exemption may be subject to additional adverse administrative action, including separation.”