According to reports, the Navy quietly rescinded an order that would dole out punishment for SEALs who refused to take the COVID shot due to religious beliefs. The rolling back of the order came earlier in 2022, whilst the Navy was tied up in an ongoing lawsuit where a preliminary injunction halted the enforcement of the order.
Back on September 24th of, 2021, the Navy issued an order dubbed “Trident Order #12 –Mandatory Vaccination for COVID-19,” with The Desert Review reporting shortly after the order was released, “Navy SEALs have been informed by their superiors that they won’t be deployed if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine, even if they’re granted a religious or medical exemption, according to lawyers representing the elite special operations troops.”
In November of 2021, a lawsuit was filed against the Biden administration, U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin, as well as the Department of Defense over the order, with the plaintiffs claiming the order violated their “fundamental right to the free exercise of religion and protection from agency action that is unlawful, contrary to law, and arbitrary and capricious.”
Come February 28th of, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a preliminary injunction issued at the district court level that placed Trident Order #12 on hold in terms of enforcement, with the court noting in their opinion that the Navy failed to show “a compelling interest to deny religious accommodations.”
“Considering the record as a whole, we agree with the district court that Defendants have not shown a compelling interest to deny religious accommodations to each of these 35 Plaintiffs. Indeed, the ‘marginal interest’ in vaccinating each Plaintiff appears to be negligible; consequently, Defendants lack a sufficiently compelling interest to vaccinate Plaintiffs.”
Apparently, while the blocking of the enforcement of the order was still in effect, the Navy opted to quietly reverse Trident Order #12 back on May 22nd, roughly three months after the injunction was upheld.
Fox News reported that it’s “not immediately clear whether the Navy replaced the order with any other document or the reasoning behind Trident Order #12’s termination,” adding that a Navy spokesperson refused to “comment on ongoing litigation.”
However, a recent court filing from plaintiff attorney Heather Gebelin Hacker in the ongoing case mentions that there’s nothing to suggest that Trident Order #12 was replaced with any similar order demanding repercussions for religious exemptions sought regarding COVID shot mandates.
“To the best of counsel’s knowledge, Trident Order #12 was not replaced. As the Court will recall, Trident Order #12 stated that SEALs who are unvaccinated due to religious beliefs are medically disqualified, though SEALs who are unvaccinated due to medical reasons are not automatically disqualified. Trident Order #12 also implemented the COVID-19 vaccine mandate at the command level for Naval Special Warfare forces, setting a deadline of compliance for October 17, 2021.”
This piece was written by Gregory Hoyt on September 13, 2022. It originally appeared on RedVoiceMedia.com and is used with permission.
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