What’s Next in the Case Against the Department of Defense

Oct 14, 2021

Liberty Counsel filed a class action lawsuit Oct. 15, 2021, against Joseph R. Biden, Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security on behalf of members from all branches of the military, federal employees and federal civilian contractors. The lawsuit is regarding unlawful COVID vaccine mandates that result in dishonorable discharge or termination of employment if refused.

Since this has been filed as a class action lawsuit, people have been inquiring about joining or being named in the suit. That option is not yet available as certification of the class action is still pending.

Until then, Liberty Counsel motioned for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction on behalf of the plaintiffs "against the Defendants’ enforcement of the unconscionable, unconstitutional, and unlawful Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate that all United States Armed Forces service members, civilian federal contractors accept or receive a COVID-19 vaccination in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs."

Why are the TRO and preliminary injunction needed in this case?

Equitable in nature, both TROs and preliminary injunctions are court orders requiring a person to do or cease doing a specific action. They can be issued by the judge early in a lawsuit to stop the defendant from continuing his or her course of action to prevent possible injustice and irreparable harm to the plaintiff. It is an extraordinary remedy that courts utilize in special cases to alter or maintain the status quo, depending on the circumstances.

In this case, a TRO or preliminary injunction could put a temporary halt on vaccine mandates nationwide for the three categories of plaintiffs named in the lawsuit: military, federal employees and federal contractors.

Liberty Counsel has stated that injunctive relief is appropriate. The plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their Religious Freedom of Restoration Act and First Amendment claims against the Federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate, as well as the claim that the mandate violates the EUA provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

"An injunction against Biden and his administration would apply nationally to all three categories in the lawsuit—everyone in the military, federal workers and federal civilian contractors," says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. "A win on Count One [upholding provisions under the Emergency Use Authorization law] will impact everyone nationwide to have the option to accept or refuse the shots."

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