More than 130 U.S. Coast Guard members filed a class action lawsuit alleging the religious exemptions they filed in response to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military service members were unlawfully denied.
The lawsuit, filed July 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas — Galveston Division, also challenges the constitutionality of the mandate.
The number of plaintiffs exceeds 130 and will likely end up surpassing 200, according to Dale Saran, one of the attorneys representing the service members.
The suit names four defendants: Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Linda L. Fagan, commandant of the Coast Guard; Lloyd Austin, secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Plaintiffs are either active-duty or reserve members of the Coast Guard, and all “have sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.” Read more…