According to Fox News, Air Force Lt. Col. Jonathan Dunn had hoped the Supreme Court would grant him an emergency appeal in his case concerning the COVID vaccine.
However, that hope came to an end on Monday when six of the Court’s nine justices voted to deny his request.
Officer has religious objections to COVID vaccine
Dunn, who has served in the Air Force for over two decades, was removed from command after he refused to be vaccinated.
Although the officer professes to hold “sincere religious objections to the COVID-19 vaccine” and claims to have acquired natural immunity through a prior infection, Dunn’s application for a religious exemption was declined.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Democrat-appointed Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan in opposing Dunn’s request for emergency relief while his case plays out.
However, they were joined by two of former President Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Case involving Navy SEALs had a similar outcome
In contrast, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch all favored Dunn’s motion. Fox New pointed out that the trio had earlier sided with a group of Navy SEALs who objected to getting the COVID vaccine.
In that case, Justice Alito took his fellow jurists to task for granting the federal government a partial stay of an injunction that the SEALs had obtained from a lower court.
Alito accused the Court of having done “a great injustice” to the plaintiffs by “rubberstamping the Government’s request.”
“These individuals appear to have been treated shabbily by the Navy, and the Court brushes all that aside,” he complained.
For his part, Kavanaugh insisted that there was a “simple overarching reason” to side with the government, saying, “Under Article II of the Constitution, the President of the United States, not any federal judge, is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.”
“In light of that bedrock constitutional principle, ‘courts traditionally have been reluctant to intrude upon the authority of the Executive in military and national security affairs,'” Kavanaugh continued, citing a case from 1988 that dealt with the granting of security clearances.