On 27 July, US District Judge Matthew McFarland entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine mandates and punishments for failing to take COVID-19 vaccinations by members of the Air Force who requested religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
A couple weeks ago he issued a temporary restraining order and directed both sides in the case to submit their arguments for or against a longer-lasting preliminary injunction. Both sides complied. The judge was not swayed by the filing submitted by Biden Administration lawyers.
Under the new order, the Air Force, Space Force and Air National Guard cannot take disciplinary action or attempt to separate members who have requested a religious exemption on or after Sept. 1, 2021, and who were found by a chaplain to have a “sincerely held religious belief.”
The Air Force is the second service to receive such an injunction; the Navy’s was issued in the spring. The injunctions are valid until the cases are fully resolved in the courts. Army and Coast Guard members are still at risk.