Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Religious Objections To Air Force COVID Mandate Dismissed For Lack of Standing and Ripeness

In Miller v. Austin, (D WY, Aug. 22, 2022), a Wyoming federal district court dismissed on standing and ripeness grounds a suit by two Air Force sergeants who face discharge because of their refusal on religious grounds to receive the COVID vaccine.  The court said in part:

Defendants correctly point out "Plaintiffs have filed this lawsuit to avoid the possibility of involuntary separation."... Furthermore, due to the pending class action, Defendants confirmed Miller's August 25, 2022 separation hearing has been paused.... There is no current threat of separation. Plaintiffs have not yet suffered a concrete, particularized, actual injury in fact because Plaintiffs have not been separated from the USAF. Plaintiffs do not have standing to bring this issue.

More damning to Plaintiffs' case, however, is the fact that the religious exemption is still subject to administrative review within the USAF.