Supreme Court rules 6-3 against air force officer removed from command after refusing Covid jab

An air force reservist who refused the Covid vaccine on religious grounds has lost his case at the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 6-3 not to take up his case. Lt Col Jonathan Dunn accepted the usual panoply of military vaccinations, but decided that Covid vaccination was a 'religious ritual' rather than a medical intervention and refused to take it. He was removed from command, triggering the lawsuit, and now his career is all but finished.

The court documents say that the air force took disciplinary action against Dunn, including his removal from command and non-punitive disciplinary measures, citing his commanding officer who said he had "lost trust in [Dunn's] leadership and judgment" due to the memorandum and that he displayed a "pattern of a lack of respect for military authority". Prelogar said that Dunn's actions independent of his refusal to be vaccinated warranted the measures against him. The US solicitor general also said that Dunn's unit has to be ready to be deployed anywhere in the world with as little as three days' notice, including countries that require proof of vaccination for entry. Prelogar also noted that the military has a long history of requiring vaccinations and currently requires nine vaccinations for service members.

If it seems a stupid thing to throw away your career over, remember that the guys who do this know that other vaccinations they take are far more unpleasant and dangerous. It's politics and performance, a stylish departure, a flounce.

Isn't it something that half the conservatives on the court are willing to at least consider overturning command authority like this? People outside the right (even those of us in the media who stare at it every day for a living) have not at all absorbed how total the culture war is to conservatives. They will burn everything down to win it—which is why they're winning.

One of the most perceptive things about The Handmaid's Tale was that, far from being the pride of Gilead, the U.S. military falls to pieces under theocratic government. Canada treats it as a dangerous run-down rabble used by Gilead to roughen negotiations, not as a credible threat to its security.