A federal judge on Monday blocked the U.S. Department of Defense from disciplining  a group of Navy SEALs and other special forces members who refused COVID-19 vaccines on religious grounds.

Judge Reed O’Connor, the U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Texas, was acting in response to a lawsuit filed by First Liberty Institute in November on behalf of 35 special forces service members.  O’Connor issued a preliminary injunction barring the Navy and Defense Department from enforcing the mandate.