Last week, the DOD announced that its employees would have until early November to get both COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to a memorandum. It stipulates that employees have to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, but individuals are not considered fully inoculated until two weeks after they’ve received both shots, or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Weeks before that, the Pentagon mandated vaccines for all military members.
Defending the Republic, in a news release, said it filed the lawsuit on behalf of 16 active duty service members in a bid to strike down the “unconstitutional and unlawful” mandate. The legal complaint also names Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, III, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock as defendants.
The plaintiffs include “those with natural immunity to COVID-19, women who wish to become pregnant, or who have medical conditions for which no clinical trial data is available, face severe punishment, including dishonorable discharge, the loss of their constitutional rights, and potential imprisonment” if they do not get the vaccines, Defending the Republic said. Powell’s name wasn’t listed in the court filings.
The lawsuit isn’t the first to be filed against recent mandates handed down by the federal government regarding vaccines.
Late last month, a group of federal employees sued the Biden administration and asked a court to declare unlawful President Joe Biden’s executive order targeting federal employees and contractors.
Lawyers for those plaintiffs argued that members of the Christian faith are required “to refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her informed conscience comes to this sure judgment,” adding further that “naturally acquired immunity provides greater protection than vaccines.”
One of the plaintiffs was identified as U.S. Secret Service agent Lionel Klein. Because Klein had already contracted COVID-19 and recovered, the attorneys said he now possesses enough antibodies to ward against future infection and doesn’t need the vaccine.
In the same speech announcing the vaccine mandates on Sept. 9, Biden also said that he would direct Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a rule that would fine private businesses with 100 or more employees if they fail to force their employees to submit to either vaccination or weekly testing. So far, there have been few details released—including a timetable—about the OSHA rule.
The Epoch Times has contacted the White House for comment.