(PresidentialInsider.com)- The Supreme Court is being asked to reinstate one of the Biden administration’s major programs that mandated all military members to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The Department of Defense filed an emergency appeal to the high court this week asking the justices to overturn rulings from lower courts that they claim usurp President Joe Biden’s powers given to him under the Constitution.
In the filing, the DOD claimed the decisions ripped away the president’s core constitutional power to make decisions as to “which service members should be deployed to execute some of the military’s most sensitive and dangerous missions.”
As a result, the Pentagon said the military’s readiness has been imperiled. They referred to a recent case in which the Navy was forced to deploy a Navy SEAL who is unvaccinated to serve on a submarine in close quarters with other people.
A federal district court judge in Texas issued a January ruling that barred the Navy from requiring every one of their SEALs to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. That order was then upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which also refused to suspend the decision temporarily while an appeal was pending.
That has forced the Biden DOD to file an official appeal with the Supreme Court.
Admiral William Lescher, the vice chief of Naval operations, filed a sworn declaration as part of the appeal that said that if even one member of the SEAL team were to become infected with COVID-19, it could compromise an entire mission.
He further said it would be “a dereliction of duty” to allow personnel who are not vaccinated into any environment in which they might “risk the lives of others.”
Back in August 2021, members of the Naval Special Warfare community as well as a group of Navy SEALs challenged the vaccine requirement placed on members of the military. These people said the requirement violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, since it didn’t accommodate the religious objections that members brought before them.
In response, the military said vaccinations for members of the military date way back to the Continental Army, which was ordered by General George Washington to be vaccinated against smallpox in 1777.
There are nine vaccines that members of the military are required to get, unless they are given an exemption for a particular medical or religious reason. Regulations set by the military explain procedures that could lead to discipline and/or full separation of service members who refuse to be vaccinated if they don’t receive an exemption.
The regulations further state that:
“Service members who are not vaccinated, regardless of exemption status, may be temporarily reassigned [based on] operational readiness and mission requirements.”
The challenge that the Biden administration filed this week is only going after a portion of the lower court rulings, though. They are seeking a partial stay in the matter that would allow the Pentagon to change the assignment of a service member if they aren’t vaccinated.
At this point, the Pentagon isn’t seeking to overturn the lower court rulings that effectively invalidated the broad vaccine mandate for all service members.