U.S. Marine Corps Commanders Defy Court Order for Shot Mandate

Aug 22, 2022

Despite the fact that last Thursday the U.S. District Court of Florida provided class action relief and granted a class wide preliminary injunction from the unlawful federal COVID shot mandate on behalf of those who are in active or reserve service in the United States Marine Corps, a Marine Corps Chain of Command has already defied the order in contempt of court by unlawfully harassing and punishing a service member for refusing the injection.   

Last Friday, the day after Judge Steven Merryday’s order went into effect, a Corporal was called into his commander’s office. There the Major and 1st Sergeant demanded to know if he “intended to continue fighting the shot mandate.” If so, this Corporal was informed that he would be moved out of the office and battery duty. This would be the third time he has suffered repercussions and punishments for simply requesting his protected right to refuse the COVID shots for his religious beliefs. He was told he would be given a copy of each of the regimental Chain of Command's statements to review during the weekend. This Corporal was also informed that unless he got vaccinated by today, he would be removed from the military. 

The Corporal told the 1st Sergeant he wanted to provide a copy of the class action certification and proof that he satisfied class eligibility as a copy for their records. 

The 1st Sergeant said, “The class action doesn’t matter. Will you vaccinate by Monday or not?” 

The Corporal repeated that his sincerely held religious beliefs prevent him from taking the COVID shots since they are all associated with aborted fetal cells. The 1st Sergeant then pulled out an already completed 6105 punishment form and insisted the Corporal sign it. The Corporal refused to sign the punishment form as it was in direct violation of Judge Merryday’s order.

But the immediate Command continued with the unlawful actions even though Judge Merryday’s order states: 

“The defendants are PRELIMINARILY ENJOINED (1) from enforcing against a member of the class any order, requirement, or rule to accept COVID-19 vaccination, (2) from separating or discharging from the Marine Corps a member of the class who declines COVID-19 vaccination, and (3) from retaliating against a member of the class for the member’s asserting statutory rights under RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act].” 

Judge Merryday’s order leaves no doubt that no one is above the law. He wrote: 

“Obviously, RFRA includes everyone from the President to a park ranger, from the Chief Justice of the United States to a probation officer, from the Speaker of the House to a member’s district office staffer, from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to a military recruiter — even if they don’t like it and even if they don’t agree with it. The Free Exercise Clause and RFRA are the law of the land.” 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “No one is above the law. Anyone from Joe Biden to the Secretary of Defense to the military commanders will face the wrath of the court for defying this federal order. This chain of command is now in contempt of court for violating this federal court order. We will not tolerate this lawless behavior.” 

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