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Cincinnati federal judge blocks Air Force, Air National Guard globally from discharging religious vaccine refusers

A federal judge in Cincinnati on Wednesday halted the Biden administration for the foreseeable...
A federal judge in Cincinnati on Wednesday halted the Biden administration for the foreseeable future from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate globally on any servicemembers in both the Air Force, Space Force and Air National Guard who requested religious exemptions.(Provided by Attorney Chris Wiest)
 
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A federal judge in Cincinnati on Wednesday blocked the Biden administration for the foreseeable future from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate globally on any servicemembers in the Air Force, Space Force and Air National Guard who requested religious exemptions.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew McFarland’s preliminary injunction stops the military from discharging or disciplining servicemembers in this local lawsuit that now has an international impact on the military and class-action status as it heads toward trial.

Judge McFarland has criticized the Air Force, writing that they sweepingly rejected each exemption request and failed to carefully consider the merits of each.

“Members face the same injury: violation of their constitutional freedom by defendants’ clear policy of discrimination religious accommodation requests,” he wrote two weeks ago when he issued the temporary injunction.

Doster v. Kendall comes down to this: Do the rights of those defending our country to exercise their religious freedom and eschew the vaccine supersede the Air Force’s insistence that allowing them to do so will irreparably harm the military’s ability to do its job?

So far, the judge has sided all the way with the servicemembers and now he has included the Air National Guard in the litigation.

The government is expected to swiftly appeal this decision, as they have previous ones in this case.

FOX19 NOW has a request for comment from a spokeswoman for the Air Force. We will update this story once we hear back.

The judge’s decision impacts 200 to 300 servicemembers stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, who filed the lawsuit against top military leaders back in February.

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