Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that his office and 20 other states have filed an amicus brief in Doster v. Kendall, opposing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on members of the United States Air Force. Submitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the brief asserts that the Air Force violated 18 Airmen’s statutory and constitutional rights by refusing to grant them religious exemptions to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“My Office has been consistent in our fight to protect the right to religious liberty for all Americans,” said Attorney General Eric Schmitt. “Now more than ever, government overreach must be stopped, and I am proud to be one of the few attorneys general across the country who has consistently pushed back on tyrannical COVID-19 policies - that fight will continue.”
The amicus brief asks the Sixth Circuit to uphold the district court’s preliminary injunction, which holds that the 18 Airmen are likely to succeed on their claims of a violation to their free exercise of their religion. This injunction prevents the Air Force from “taking any disciplinary or separation measures” against the Airmen based on their refusal to vaccinate because of their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
The brief further argues that the United States has “protections in place to ensure that an Airman largely enjoys the same rights to religious liberty as his fellow citizens,” and that the Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act both apply in the military context.
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has previously filed an amicus brief in a case opposing the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Navy Seals.
In addition to Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming filed the amicus brief.
The brief can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/dn-32-kentucky-et-al-amicus.pdf?sfvrsn=5e7bfc61_2