Editor’s note: The following newsletter was distributed by First Liberty Institute. Since many law enforcement officers are in the same boat (no pun intended) as the Navy SEALS, we thought it was worth sharing.
Yesterday, First Liberty’s General Counsel Mike Berry appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight to announce our latest, breaking legal matter.
Right now, because of the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for service members, the government is forcing some of America’s most elite warriors to choose between their faith and serving their country.
First Liberty represents 40 U.S. Navy SEALs who are being threatened with punishment, involuntary separation or even court-martial. Why? Because they are seeking a legal religious accommodation to the vaccine mandate, which is guaranteed under both federal and military law.
Watch the video below. In it, Mike explains why it’s unconstitutional and illegal for the Pentagon to punish religious service members—and what action First Liberty is taking to help ensure our military heroes’ careers aren’t ruined.
Collectively, our clients have more than 350 years of military service and more than 100 combat deployments. But under the Pentagon’s current policy, their careers—decades of experience, leadership and training—could be on the verge of destruction if they choose not to be vaccinated.
Navy SEALs are brave and fierce fighters who dedicate years of their lives, sacrificing themselves physically and mentally to serve our nation and defend our liberties. Plus, it costs millions of taxpayer dollars in training—approximately $2 million per Navy SEAL—to prepare the most elite fighting force on the face of the earth.
It’s vindictive and punitive that the DoD is threatening to expel them from the Navy or even send them to jail. Even more shocking, the government could also force these elite fighters to repay the nation for their training—all for simply asking for a religious accommodation. Again, this is a right they have under both federal and military law.
And it’s not only the Navy SEALs themselves who face harassment, but also their families. First Liberty has documentation from the DoD stating that military service members and their dependents (who are not subject to military orders) cannot travel until they are vaccinated. That’s unjustified and outrageous.
America’s military heroes deserve far better. They sacrifice too much for our liberties to be treated this way, or to face harassment and intimidation because of their religious convictions. They are every bit the brave, patriotic Americans as those who are vaccinated.
So, how can you help our nation’s elite fighters?
First, please consider making a timely donation to First Liberty today. Thanks to your generous support, our legal team continues to be the greatest hope for victory for military service members, for the heroes and their families who sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms.
Your gift will help First Liberty deliver a victory for the dozens of Navy SEALs who face the threat of career-ending punishment.
Additionally, we’re urging you and all of First Liberty’s supporters to send a message of encouragement to our Navy SEAL clients, who face the threat of career-ending punishment.
You can imagine how discouraged some of our Navy SEALs may feel right now. But with a note expressing your support, you can let them know that they’re not alone and that you’re grateful for their immeasurable sacrifice.
President, CEO & Chief Counsel
First Liberty Institute