Courts Finally Scrutinize COVID Vaccine Mandates as Religious Infringement

COVID Vaccine Protest

Three years after COVID-19 vaccines became widely available to adults – at which point the CDC already knew they couldn’t stop transmission – courts are finally starting to put their foot down on the most basic legal question: Are mandates at least applied fairly, if not scientifically?

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals not only knocked down the University of Colorado medical school’s original and revised 2021 mandates for discriminating against employees seeking religious exemptions, but knocked the trial judge for “abuse of discretion” by reversing the burden of proof to moot the case.

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Congress Won’t Reinstate Troops Discharged for Violating the COVID Vaccine Mandate

Thousands of troops already discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine won’t return to service after Congress’ last-minute defense bill sought to overturn the Pentagon’s mandate.

The Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have separated at least 8,400 active duty and reserve troops for spurning the Department of Defense’s (DOD) August 2021 requirement that all servicemembers receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to information the DOD provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. While the compromise legislation released late Tuesday directs the Pentagon to rescind the mandate, it stops short of requiring the military to restore discharged troops to their prior positions or provide reparations.

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Connecticut GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Stefanowski Vows to Reject COVID Shot Mandate for School Children

Connecticut GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski said Thursday in a press statement that if he is elected Connecticut governor that the state would never mandate the COVID vaccine for “schoolchildren, public or private employees, or anyone else.”

“It’s time that we start allowing actual science — not political science — to inform how we approach public health decisions,” Stefanowski added. “I challenge Governor Lamont to make this same pledge to the people of our state.”

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New York City Education Department Fires 850 More Teachers for Refusing COVID Vaccine

The New York City Department of Education has fired another 850 teachers and aides for refusing to comply with its COVID vaccine mandate, bringing the total number of school staff terminated over the mRNA shots that have not prevented the spread of infection to 2,000.

Some 1,300 department employees agreed to comply with the vaccine mandate by September 5 after taking a year of unpaid leave with benefits, the New York Post reported. The department informed personnel they would have to be vaccinated by that date or be “deemed to have voluntarily resigned.”

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Tennessee National Guard Soldier Injured in Line of Duty Talks Adverse COVID Vaccine Experience

A Tennessee National Guard soldier who was on his way out of the service due to a line of duty injury spoke exclusively with The Tennessee Star about his experience being forced to accept the COVID-19 vaccine and the negative reaction it likely caused to his health.

The soldier spoke on the condition of background because he does not want to risk losing his VA benefits.

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Healthcare Workers Win $10.3 Million Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit over COVID Vaccine Mandate

The nation’s first class action lawsuit for healthcare workers fighting COVID vaccine mandates has led to a $10.3 million settlement agreement, filed Friday, for the workers who were denied religious exemptions from the COVID shot mandate and terminated when they did not comply.

Liberty Counsel settled the lawsuit on behalf of more than 500 current and former healthcare workers from NorthShore University HealthSystem in Illinois who argued they were victims of religious discrimination.

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Democrats Play Politics with National Guard Soldiers’ Jobs by Blocking Representative Mark Green’s Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act

House Democrats blocked U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07)’s amendment late Tuesday to the National Defense Authorization Act which would have enabled guardsmen who refused the COVID-19 vaccine to stay employed.

Green’s amendment fought to protect National Guard and Reserve troops from being prohibited from paid training or education programs simply for their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

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Army Doctor Whistleblower: One of My Patients Was Treated for Suicidal Thoughts After His COVID-19 Vax Exemption Was Rescinded

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed Maj. Samuel Sigoloff, an Army doctor dismissed from his position at the Bliss Army Health Center, after his supervisors learned he signed medical exemptions for his soldier patients from the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. All of the medical exemptions he signed were rescinded.

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Several Candidates for State House Call for Action to Help National Guard Soldiers Keep Their Jobs

Several candidates for state house districts called on Governor Lee, Attorney General Slatery, and the General Assembly to take action in order to help the Tennessee National Guard soldiers who refused to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Gino Bulso, a candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives, District 61, released a statement supporting the members of the Tennessee Army National Guard, more than 500 of whom entered a no-pay status, along with the loss of their health insurance and life insurance benefits simply because they decided not to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Tennessee Senate Deputy Speaker Janice Bowling Supports Special Session to Save National Guard Members’ Jobs

Tennessee State Senate Deputy Speaker Janice Bowling told The Tennessee Star that she supports a special session of the General Assembly in order to save the jobs of National Guardsmen who are being fired for refusing to comply with the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“I expressed my sentiments to the Tennessee National  Guardsmen when I joined other legislators at the Legislative Plaza last week. I will fight legislatively for their rights to be protected,” she said. “I would gladly support a Special Session. If the General Assembly makes the call, we get to determine the agenda. If the Governor makes the call, he determines the agenda.”

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Marsha Blackburn Supports Tennessee National Guard Soldiers: ‘Working on Legislation That Would Prohibit’ Funding to Implement Mandate

Tennessee U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn told The Tennessee Star Tuesday that she strongly supports the Tennessee National Guard soldiers who are about to be fired due to noncompliance with a vaccine mandate on Thursday. 

Blackburn also mentioned she is working on federal legislation to help them.

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Former Speaker of Tennessee House Beth Harwell Issues Statement in Support of National Guard Members

Former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell issued a statement in support of the National Guard members who are scheduled to be fired on June 30 due to their refusal to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“The Biden Administration’s forced COVID-19 vaccination policy for men and women in the military is absolutely wrong and it’s another example of more overreach by the federal government,” said Harwell.

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Minneapolis Bagel Shop Says ‘All Are Welcome Here’ After Closing Indoor Dining Due to COVID Vaccine Mandate

A bagel shop in Minneapolis made the decision to close indoor dining on Wednesday due to the COVID vaccine mandate taking effect. Rise Bagel Co., an organic artisan bagelry located in the North Loop of Minneapolis, announced in social media posts on Tuesday that they made the “tough decision” to close their indoor dining, saying that “All are welcome here.”

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Judge Suspends COVID Vaccine Mandate for Military Service Members Seeking Religious Exemption

The Navy cannot force service members with religious objections to COVID-19 vaccines to take them so long as the exemption process remains “by all accounts … theater,” a federal judge ruled Monday.

“Our nation asks the men and women in our military to serve, suffer, and sacrifice. But we do not ask them to lay aside their citizenry and give up the very rights they have sworn to protect,” U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor wrote in approving a preliminary injunction against the mandate as applied to the 35 service members who sued.

“Every president since the signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has praised the men and women of the military for their bravery and service in protecting the freedoms this country guarantees,” O’Connor said.

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Florida Judge Issues Temporary Injunction Against Gainesville Vaccine Mandate

Judge Monica Brasington of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court has issued a temporary injunction against the City of Gainesville’s COVID vaccine mandate. The decision indicates a slight, early victory for employees who are seeking to not receive the vaccine.

Brasington said in her ruling that the city did not provide ample evidence showing a vaccine mandate serves “a compelling interest through the least restrictive means.” She also said the city bears the burden of proof to determine that the mandate is in the best interest of the public.

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Lawyer Suing Indiana University for COVID Vaccine Mandate Expanding Effort to ‘Four or Five States’

The lawyer representing students challenging Indiana University’s COVID vaccine mandate has been “retained by students in other states to bring similar claims,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

Veteran litigator James Bopp told the John Solomon Reports podcast that he expects to file suit in another “four or five states in the next couple of weeks.”

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