Friday, July 15, 2022

National Class Action and TRO Approved For Air Force Members With Religious Objections To COVID Vaccine

In Doster v. Kendall, (SD OH, July 14, 2022), an Ohio federal district court certified a national class action on behalf of all active duty and active reserve members of the Air Force and Space Force who have submitted a request for a religious accommodation from the military's COVID vaccine requirement since September 1, 2021, who were confirmed as having had a sincerely held religious belief by Air Force Chaplains, and have had their request denied or have not had action on it. The court went on to issue a 14-day temporary restraining order against enforcing the vaccine mandate against any class member. According to the court

As of June 6, 2022, the Air Force had received 9,062 religious accommodation requests, granting 86 of those requests while denying 6,343 requests....  Following such denials, the Air Force had received 3,837 appeals from Airmen whose initial religious accommodation requests were denied.... As of June 6, 2022, the Air Force has granted only 23 of those appeals, denying 2,978....

Fox19 reports on the decision.

UPDATE: On July 27, the court issued a class-wide preliminary injunction. (Full text of order.) Fox19 reports on the decision.