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Statement from Military Religious Liberty Experts Kelly Shackelford and Mike Berry Regarding Repeal of Military Vaccine Mandate by Congress

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December 15, 2022

Press Statement
For Immediate Release: 12.15.22
Contact: Peyton Luke, media@firstliberty.org
Direct: 972-941-4453

Statement from Military Religious Liberty Experts Kelly Shackelford and Mike Berry Regarding Repeal of Military Vaccine Mandate by Congress


Washington, D.C.—Today, Congress voted to repeal the military’s vaccine mandate.

The following statement may be attributed to Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty Institute:

We’re pleased that Congress finally acted to protect our brave warriors before more damage is done to them and our national security.  The President and the Secretary of Defense owe our troops an apology for the religious hostility they’ve endured.  If our nation and our military are to remain the greatest on earth, service members of faith must be treated with dignity, tolerance, and respect, not forced to choose between their faith and serving their country.

The following statement may be attributed to Mike Berry, Director of Military Affairs for First Liberty Institute:

Today’s action is a positive, commendable first step, but it does not resolve the ongoing religious discrimination in the military.  Both the President and the Pentagon are on record as opposing this bill, so no doubt they will continue to attempt to punish the troops who have religious objections to the vaccine.  That makes our legal defense of service members as important now as ever.  First Liberty is the tip of the spear when it comes to religious liberty in the armed forces.  That’s why we continue to fight on behalf of thousands of service members who never wavered in their commitment to our nation or to their faith.  They are the true heroes today.

In January 2022, First Liberty Institute won the first injunction against the military’s vaccine mandate in Navy SEALs v. Biden.  First Liberty filed the lawsuit and motion for preliminary injunction on behalf of dozens of U.S. Navy SEALs and other Naval Special Warfare personnel.

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Peyton Luke at media@firstliberty.org or by calling 972-941-4453.

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