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Title: Why Supremes urgently need to take vax mandate case
Source: [None]
URL Source: ... reaking-news-alert-4-19-2024-4
Published: Apr 19, 2024
Author: J.M. Phelps
Post Date: 2024-04-20 10:19:05 by BTP Holdings
Keywords: None
Views: 172
Comments: 3

Why Supremes urgently need to take vax mandate case

Military chaplain tells WND: 'Thousands felt they had to violate deeply held religious beliefs'

By J.M. Phelps

Published April 19, 2024 at 6:19pm

(Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash)

Next Friday, April 26, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to accept the case of 38 Defense Department military chaplains who are challenging Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s implementation and enforcement of the Biden administration’s 2021 COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

WND spoke to Chaplain Milton Corby (a pseudonym), one of 38 chaplains in Alvarado v. Austin who filed a petition with the Supreme Court to challenge the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ dismissal of their claims for an injunction against continued retaliation for requesting religious accommodation, as well as the district court’s dismissal of their constitutional and statutory claims.

Corby spoke to WND using a pseudonym because of concern over reprisals.

Arthur A. Schulcz Sr., a retired Vietnam War veteran and lead attorney for the case, told WND the chaplains on March 21 filed an application for injunctive relief with the Supreme Court, asking the high court to protect them from the Defense Department’s continuing retaliatory actions for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine due to their religious objection.

On April 26, the Supreme Court will make the decision to stay, or pause, the policies that have continued to impact chaplains like Corby.

"It’s important for the Supreme Court to pick up our case," Corby told WND, "because the Department of Defense has been picking and choosing winners and losers, deciding which religious accommodation they want to accept and which to deny." While serving as an Army chaplain for over 10 years, he has helped process religious accommodations not only for Christians, but for Jews, Muslims, paganists and others.

To that end, he said, "I am not there to proselytize, but rather fulfill my oath to the U.S. Constitution – to protect and advocate for the free exercise of religion [of all service members regardless of their religion]."

"The free exercise of religion is supposed to be protected and the government is not allowed to pick winners and losers regarding which religious beliefs it accepts and which ones it does not," he said. "If one group loses its protections, then no group is safe from losing their protections."

According to the chaplains' lawsuit, "The Department of Defense didn’t play by their own rules while strictly enforcing the mandate." Varying within each branch of service, there are regulations in place that allow for the religious objection to specific issues, but these were not followed, Corby explained.

For this reason, he told WND, "SCOTUS [should] take our case because the Secretary of Defense’s mandate defied the religious conscience of thousands who were subsequently denied accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs."

"In order to keep a job, or gain promotion," Corby said, "thousands felt as if they had to violate deeply held religious beliefs." He added, "The widespread denial of religious accommodation to the shot does not exhibit the free exercise of religion guaranteed to us by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."

. Schulcz explained to WND how fitness reports retaliating against chaplains for exercising those rights remain in their records despite Congress's specific protections for chaplains adhering to their conscience and Congress’s order to remove such adverse actions – which, he said, "DOD deliberately ignores."

If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, Corby will consider it "an erosion of one of our most basic, constitutionally guaranteed freedoms." Schulcz agreed, adding that the court’s message would suggest "forbidden retaliation is acceptable."

If SCOTUS does accept the case, Corby said, "it will pave the way for future chaplains to come into service with solid precedent protecting the nation’s constitutionally held freedoms." Again, Schulcz agreed.

"Brave people had to stand up and say the Department of Defense was wrong," Corby said. "If DOD had it their way, they would purge us."

Uncertain promotion

The 2021 military vaccine mandate, insisted Corby, should never have been implemented and enforced as it was during the coronavirus pandemic, and at the very least, should have allowed for any service member to claim religious objection to it.

"Religious accommodation is supposed to be different for everyone because every individual is different," he explained. "Every person was supposed to have the right to file a religious accommodation, and each accommodation was supposed to either stand or fall on its own on its own merits – but that didn’t happen."

Thousands of religious accommodations were either blanketly denied or ignored. In January 2023, the military vaccine mandate was rescinded, due to Congress passing the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. And according to Corby and Schulcz, if the Secretary of Defense Austin had his way, the COVID mandate would still exist.

Prior to the enforcement of the mandate, Corby had superior ratings on Officer Evaluation Reports, or OERs. After objecting to the COVID vaccine, reports began to reflect a downgrade to a lower rating, which were intentionally accompanied by "blandly written comments," he said. Schulcz emphasized, "That is clearly retaliation for a protected right."

"The lower rating and bland comments made clear to any promotion board that I should not be considered for promotion," Corby told WND. Because he remained unvaccinated, like many other service members, he was also denied the ability to relocate with a "permanent change of station," or PCS, from his location to another, as his orders were revoked only due to his vaccination status.

After his PCS was re-instituted, Corby was finally able to move to his current location. Under new command, he began to receive higher ratings for his service. However, with the previous disparaging OER’s in his permanent file, all for exercising his religious rights, he questions whether he will be given the opportunity to be promoted to a higher rank. "I’m not sure how any future board will look at me," he told WND.

"That is why a judicial decree is essential," Schulcz argued.

Corby emphasized that his views do not reflect those of the Department of Defense or the Department of the Army. The DOD did not respond to WND’s requests for comment.

Poster Comment:

I have a nurse that refused to take the vaccine because of religious objections.

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#1. To: BTP Holdings (#0)

If the court rules in favor of the mandate, "We the People" are totally FUCKED

Darkwing  posted on  2024-04-20   12:40:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Darkwing (#1)

Seems this argument is solely religious based and not based on its physical dangers & lack of testing.

Pinguinite  posted on  2024-04-20   17:54:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Pinguinite (#2) (Edited)

Maybe I'll move to Argentina. I know this young chick there who speaks good English. She is a model and is darn good looking.

I grew up in Germantown in Chicago. The local three chair barbershop had a sign in the window in German, "Wir sprechen Deutsch". There was also a great German restaurant that served Hassenpfeffer.

So I likely speak more German than Spanish, but that young lady in Argentina can help with translations. ;)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one." Edmund Burke

BTP Holdings  posted on  2024-04-21   10:10:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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