Barksdale Airman Sues Government Over President’s Vaccine Mandate
James Baehr, General Counsel for Louisiana's Pelican Institute, talks about their plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of a Barksdale Air Force Base Senior Airman to uphold her religious liberty against what they claim is government overreach. The Airman, the daughter of a Baptist minister, says her sincerely held religious beliefs had led her to carefully consider, but ultimately decline the the military's mandated COVID vaccine.
Baehr says that even though her military record is stellar, the Air Force has warned that she faces involuntary discharge if she continues to refuse the vaccine.
"She's being made to choose between serving her faith and serving her country," says Baehr, "And we're fighting her separation both for her and for other service members at Barksdale and across the country who want the freedom to practice their faith.
"Many service members have put in religious exemption requests," Baehr continues, questioning whether the Biden administration is purposely targeting those applications, "In the Air Force alone...4,600 requests had gone in, but the Air Force and other branches have been denying almost all of these requests. The Air Force has granted only 17 such requests."
Baehr also explains that her religious exemption request has been denied three times, despite support from her Air Force chaplain and that her current status is "facing imminent separation."
"She would lose her career, she would lose her GI Bill," Baehr says, citing other court cases that sided with the exemption requests, "She loses a great deal if the military separates her and that's why we're filing this lawsuit."