March 08, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the America First Policy Institute’s (AFPI’s) Constitutional Litigation Partnership (CLP), in partnership with the Alliance for Free Citizens, filed a lawsuit on behalf of 36 members of the United States Air Force against the Biden Administration and the Department of Defense for their refusal to grant religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.  

You can read the full complaint here

The Airmen and women represented in this case are serving our Nation as cyber warfare operators, fighter pilots, medical staff, translators, and some have experience in Russian and Chinese intelligence. 

This case was filed in Omaha, Nebraska, where AFPI’s attorneys allege that the Department of Defense is violating the First Amendment to the Constitution, federal law, and Department of Defense regulations. It is AFPI’s mission to ensure that our service members can freely exercise their religion and that their valid requests are given proper consideration by law. 

Statement from Pam Bondi, Chair of AFPI’s Constitutional Litigation Partnership:

“AFPI stands with the Airmen and women of the Air Force in their fight for religious liberties. No one, including our military members, should have their religious beliefs questioned – nor should they be forced to take a vaccine that conflicts with their spiritual convictions. These service members have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms, and now it is our turn to protect theirs.” 

Statement from Lt. General (Ret.) Keith Kellogg, Co-Chair of AFPI’s Center for American Security:

“America’s military is the finest in the world, and that is because of the young men and women who serve in its ranks. As our soldiers risk their lives to protect Americans and their constitutional rights, their own government restricts these soldiers’ rights and freedoms. This dereliction of duty by this administration and its senior military leadership will have enduring consequences for both our readiness and our security, and comes at a time when our adversaries sow discord around the world and seek to harm the American people.” 

Statement from Kris Kobach, General Counsel of Alliance for Free Citizens: 

“No member of the military should have to choose between following his religious convictions and continuing to serve the country. It’s a travesty when the very men and women who defend our Constitution from external threats are seeing their own constitutional liberties trampled.”  

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