Rick Scott Backs Navy in Vaccine Mandate Lawsuit

Congressional Republicans back religious exemption in droves

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
December 22, 2021

Amid new and unpopular vaccine mandates, the Biden Administration has cracked down on military members avoiding COVID-19 vaccination.  Now, US Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is taking religious vaccination exemptions for service members to the courts.

In the case, US Navy SEALs v Biden, 26 Navy Seals and other Navy service members with religious objections to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine are challenging the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for the Navy. The service members argue that both the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the First Amendment require the federal government to allow exemptions for their religious beliefs, especially with the Navy already allowing medically related exemptions.

Alongside Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and many other GOP Senators and Congressmen, Senator Rick Scott has helped paved the way in the amicus brief that would, "protect their religious freedom from encroachment by the very government they have sworn to protect with their lives."

Instead of using the popular held argument of personal medical freedoms, Scott alongside his colleagues are branding the mandate as a direct violation of First Amendment, even implying that the government has a, "hostility," towards religion.  As the amicus brief reads, "Religious freedom is fundamental to every American’s liberty, but we have seen in recent years increasing hostility among elected and appointed government officials towards those who seek to exercise that freedom."

Additionally, the Republicans argued that the Biden administration pushing the vaccine mandate "in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs does not come close to satisfying the strictest scrutiny Congress demands in RFRA."

Republicans previously warned the Biden administration that they were making a "grave mistake" by enforcing the military-wide vaccine mandate.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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