Under RFRA [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act], the Air Force wrongly relied on its “broadly formulated” reasons for the vaccine mandate to deny specific exemptions to the Plaintiffs, especially since it has granted secular exemptions to their colleagues. . . . We thus may uphold the Plaintiffs’ injunction based on RFRA alone. The Air Force’s treatment of their exemption requests also reveals common questions for the class: Does the Air Force have a uniform policy of relying on its generalized interests in the vaccine mandate to deny religious exemptions regardless of a service member’s individual circumstances? And does it have a discriminatory policy of broadly denying religious exemptions but broadly granting secular ones? A district court can answer these questions in a “yes” or “no” fashion for the entire class. It can answer whether these alleged policies violate RFRA and the First Amendment in the same way. A ruling for the class also would permit uniform injunctive relief against the allegedly illegal policies. We affirm.
Sunday, December 4, 2022
6th Circuit rules on USAF mandatory vaccination appeal
here. From the court's introduction: