Judge rejects Oklahoma’s lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate

National News

FILE – In this Feb. 9, 2021, file photo provided by the Department of Defense, Hickam 15th Medical Group hosts the first COVID-19 mass vaccination on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Military service members must immediately begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, ordering service leaders to “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.” (U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr./Department of Defense via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge in Oklahoma has ruled against the state in its lawsuit challenging the vaccine mandates for members of the Oklahoma National Guard.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot on Tuesday denied Oklahoma’s request for a preliminary injunction.

In his order, Friot said the claims by Gov. Kevin Stitt, Attorney General John O’Connor and 16 anonymous Oklahoma National Guard members were without merit.

Oklahoma’s case is considered the first critical test of the military’s authority to require National Guard troops to get the shot.

Stitt and O’Connor have been outspoken critics of vaccine mandates, even for military members.

Spokeswomen for both Stitt and O’Connor say they’re still reviewing the judge’s decision.

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