Almost 50 Republicans back Navy SEAL lawsuit over vaccine mandate

The lawsuit was filed in November by the First Liberty Institute, a Texas-based non-profit law firm that, according to its website, is “dedicated exclusively to protecting religious liberty for all Americans.”

The lawsuit states the mandate violates their First Amendment rights, as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

So far, none of the roughly 12,000 service members who have requested religious exemptions from the federal vaccine mandate has received one. The Air Force is processing 4,700 requests, while the Navy is working through about 2,700. The Marine Corps and Army is reviewing 3,100 and 1,700 requests, respectively.

The Marine Corps has already separated 103 troops for refusing the vaccine, and the Air Force trimmed 27 this month, as the deadlines to get the shots have passed.

The vast majority of service members have received their vaccination shots, with all of the services reporting numbers well above the national average.

The Army and Navy are each at about 98 percent, while the Air Force stands at 97.5 percent and the Marine Corps at 95 percent.

Approximately 72 percent of the U.S. population has been vaccinated.

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