Navy SEALs train off Coronado in 2014. Navy photo

Rep. Darrell Issa has joined a group of Republican lawmakers in supporting a lawsuit by 35 SEALs and other Navy personnel who want a religious exemption from taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

The group of 47 lawmakers filed an amicus brief in the federal lawsuit, which will be heard in Fort Worth, TX, later this month. The lawsuit was filed in November by the First Liberty Institute, a Texas nonprofit.

“We will fight every day for the men and women who fight for us — even if it is one service member at a time,” said Issa on Monday. “I am proud to join my colleagues in directly communicating to this court that these members of the Navy have constitutional rights that no one — not even President Biden — can take away.”

The lawsuit names Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro as defendants.

Issa sent a letter to President Biden last week urging a pause of the military vaccine mandate because of its potential impact on force readiness.

The Pentagon made the vaccine mandatory for all service members in August and the vast majority of active-duty troops have received at least one dose.

Issa represents the conservative 50th District in East County.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.