Biden Administration Asks Supreme Court To Block Order To Deploy Unvaccinated Navy SEALs

by Taylor Cunningham

On Monday, the Pentagon filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court that asked it to partially freeze a lower court opinion requiring the military to deploy unvaccinated Navy SEALs.

At a Glance

  • The Biden administration seeks to halt an order forcing the military to deploy unvaccinated special forces soldiers.
  • Last month, a Texas judge ruled in favor of 35 SEALs who said mandates violated their religious freedoms.
  • However, the Pentagon claims unvaccinated soliders “compromise the mission.”

The Biden Administration Asks to the Supreme Court to Stop Military from Deploying Unvaccinated Navy SEALs

The application comes after a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the Department of Defense from banning the deployment of Navy SEALS who will not comply with the miliary’s COVID vaccine mandate. The decision also forbids commanders from changing assignments because of the SEALs’ vaccine status.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar is asking the Supreme Court to block the portion of the ruling that will force the Navy to ship out 35 unvaccinated special operations members before allowing the appeals process to play out. Prelogar is not challenging the decision to protect the soldiers from discipline or discharge, though.

“This application seeks relief from a preliminary injunction that usurps the Navy’s authority to decide which servicemembers should be deployed to execute some of the military’s most sensitive and dangerous missions,” she wrote in the application.

According to Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William K. Lescher, the block would be in the interest of national security. Because in his opinion, one COVID infection could “compromise the mission.”

“The Navy has an extraordinarily compelling interest in ensuring that the service members who perform those missions are as physically and medically prepared as possible,” the filing reads. “That includes vaccinating them against COVID-19, which is the least restrictive means of achieving that interest.”

The administration attempted to involve a district court and a federal appeals court already. The former ruled in favor of the Texas judge. And the latter refused to step in.

Texas Judge Ruled in Favor of Navy SEALs Who Claimed the Military Violated Their Religious and Constitutional Rights

Texas U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued the stay after the First Liberty Institute argued on behalf of 35 active-duty SEALs and three reservists.

The soldiers were all members of Christian churches who said that the vaccine mandates violated their constitutional rights and also “their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“The Navy service members, in this case, seek to vindicate the very freedoms they have sacrificed so much to protect. The COVID-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate those freedoms,” O’Conner wrote. “There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exclusion from our Constitution.”

As Fox News reports, lawyers have until Monday, March 14 at 4 p.m. to respond to the emergency application.