Sidney Powell’s Challenge to Pentagon Vaccine Mandate Rejected by Federal Judge

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor, a Trump appointee, has rejected ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s challenge of the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate. The Pentagon had announced its vaccine mandate in August.

Powell had filed a lawsuit challenging the mandate Texas-based group, dubbed Defending the Republic, arguing that 16 active-duty service members had the “right to refuse” the COVID-19 vaccine. The lawsuit had argued that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was unconstitutional and said the mandate created “unconstitutional conditions by forcing Plaintiffs to choose between violation of their constitutional rights or facing life-altering punishments.”

Judge Winsor said the lawsuit did not reach the “extraordinary burden of showing the mandate lacks any rationality.”

“On the merits, the plaintiffs haven’t made a substantial showing that the FDA acted without a reasonable scientific basis,” Winsor wrote in the ruling. “The FDA is entitled to substantial deference because drug licensing decisions involve ‘scientific determination[s]’ within the FDA’s ‘area of special expertise.’”

Powell has been one of the more prominent Republican figures to parrot former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the Covid-19 pandemic as well as his lies about the integrity of the 2020 general election.

Earlier this year, Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Powell, for pushing blatantly false claims about the election, including that Dominion machines were compromised. Dominion says it has been the victim of a “viral disinformation campaign” that Powell mounted “to financially enrich herself, to raise her public profile, and to ingratiate herself to Donald Trump.”

“We feel that it’s important for the entire electoral process,” Dominion CEO John Poulos told The Washington Post, adding that he would prefer the case go to trial so the facts around the 2020 election can be presented. “The allegations, I know they were lobbed against us . . . but the impacts go so far beyond us.”

Dominion says it has spent more than $565,000 on protection for its personnel since the claims about its software began to circulate.

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