A US court order forbids the entire branch from enforcing Biden’s vaccine mandate
FILE PHOTO: A US Army soldier receives a Covid-19 vaccine at Fort Knox, Kentucky, September 9, 2021 © AFP / Jon Cherry
A federal judge in Ohio on Thursday certified a national class action lawsuit against the US Air Force and issued a restraining order forbidding the military branch from enforcing a Covid-19 vaccine mandate on airmen seeking religious exemption.
Judge Matthew McFarland ordered the entire Air Force to cease the mandatory vaccination of all active-duty and reserve members objecting on religious grounds. The order is temporary and expires in 14 days, during which time President Joe Biden’s Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall III, is required to make his case for the mandate to stand.
The case was brought by a few dozen airmen stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, but McFarland’s ruling impacts more than 9,000 service members nationally and internationally who have sought religious exemptions from the jab. According to court documents, the Air Force had only approved 86 of these requests as of early June.