DENVER (LifeSiteNews) – Attorneys representing more American service members against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates filed another appeal, arguing that a lower court failed to adequately consider the law, the facts of the case, and relevant precedents that have allowed other members of the U.S. Armed Forces their day in court.
Last August, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed the secretaries of all military branches to “immediately begin full [COVID] vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces” and “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.” The vast majority of service members complied, but tens of thousands remain unvaccinated, with many seeking exemptions.
Several thousand have secured exemptions for non-religious reasons, but the military has been largely unwilling to approve religious exemptions to the shots, all of which were either developed or tested with the use of fetal cells from aborted babies. In December, the military began discharging soldiers for vaccine refusal. The conflict has provoked several lawsuits.
Represented by attorney Todd Callender of the Disabled Rights Advocates law firm, Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Robert and Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Holli Mulvihill filed a lawsuit in August against the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over the requirement that they take the COVID shots despite having already had and recovered from COVID, which confers stronger and longer-lasting immunity than the vaccines.
A district court dismissed the suit in January, citing another case that had determined that similar plaintiffs had not yet been wronged because their exemption requests were still pending.
On March 28, Robert and Mulvihill filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Two days later, the court agreed to give the federal government until May 27 to file its response.
Callender’s latest brief contends that the lower court “prematurely closed this case without ever reaching the substantive merits” of the mandate’s legality; “departed from other precedents that have allowed service members and analogous plaintiffs their day in court” to challenge the mandate; and “erred in failing to consider the allegations of constitutional violations or even mention the constitutional questions raised by Plaintiffs before dismissing this action.”
The suit argues that the government is violating or ignoring numerous legal obligations and conditions associated with mandatory vaccination, including informed consent, the waiver of informed consent only for a “specified military operation,” or the lack of availability of alternative treatments (such as ivermectin, in this case).
Callender maintains that his clients were never given an opportunity to voice their concerns despite effectively being subjected to “involuntary medical experimentation with an exceedingly high likelihood of injury or death without any constitutional due process … Plaintiffs are entitled to seek enforcement of applicable statutory protections against unwarranted and unwanted injection by completely novel biological agents.”
This is despite the facts that in January, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate for private citizens, and that analogous cases taken up by the courts, such as that of a group of Navy SEALs represented by Liberty Counsel, speak to both the standing of Callender’s clients as well as the likelihood that his clients’ requests will be denied.
The appeal also addressed moderate Trump-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s invocation in the SEALs case of the deference historically granted to the executive branch in military matters, responding with a quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson: “With all its defects, delays and inconveniences, men have discovered no technique for long preserving free government except that the Executive be under the law, and that the law be made by parliamentary deliberations. Such institutions may be destined to pass away. But it is the duty of the Court to be last, not first, to give them up.”
Calendar is seeking for the military to “be ordered to stop its universal vaccination policy of all personnel with an unlicensed product, until it can be established that people who received the mRNA vaccines are not the property of the patent holders contrary to the spirit of the 13th Amendment and until the DOD can assess the immunological condition of Covid-19 survivors within its ranks and decide whether the vaccination is capable of providing any long-term protection or immunity against the Covid infection.”
While defenders of vaccine mandates are quick to point out that the military has long required soldiers to vaccinate against a range of diseases due to the harsh and exotic locales soldiers are sent to for extended periods of time and the close quarters they typically share with one another, previous vaccines have historically been subjected to far more evaluation and development time before being put into widespread use than the COVID shots received during their accelerated clinical trials.
In late February, during a COVID-19 vaccine hearing held by Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, attorney Thomas Renz presented medical billing data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) showing that 2021 saw drastic spikes in a variety of diagnoses for serious medical issues over the previous five-year average, including hypertension (2,181%), neurological disorders (1,048%), multiple sclerosis (680%), Guillain-Barre syndrome (551%), breast cancer, 487%), female infertility (472%), pulmonary embolism (468%), migraines (452%), ovarian dysfunction (437%), testicular cancer (369%), and tachycardia (302%).
In a statement to left-wing “fact-checking” outlet PolitiFact, Defense Health Agency Armed Forces Surveillance Division spokesperson Peter Graves confirmed the existence of the records but claimed that a conveniently-timed “data corruption” glitch made the pre-2021 numbers appear far lower than the actual numbers of cases for those years, which PolitiFact took at face value.
“I believe the COVID vaccine is a greater threat to soldier’s health and military readiness than the virus itself,” Lt. Col. Theresa Long, a senior Army aerospace medicine specialist, testified in November.