RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares signed on to an amicus brief Wednesday calling on a federal court not to defer to the U.S. military’s judgment in imposing a vaccine mandate.

The case involves 35 Navy personnel who have sought religious exemptions to the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which was instituted by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in 2021.

While a lower court issued a stay against enforcement of the mandate pending a final decision, the Supreme Court earlier this year allowed the Navy to reassign the personnel to new roles, using their vaccination status as a consideration in their assignments.

The vaccine policy is an extension of the military’s existing vaccine regimen, which includes 17 immunizations required for service members based on their deployment and other factors.

Current vaccine requirements maintained by the U.S. Military.

But Miyares claimed in a press release Wednesday that mandating the COVID-19 vaccine was a violation of religious liberty.

“The Biden Administration has continually disrespected boundaries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, undermining individual liberty and forcing Americans to obey dictates from unelected Washington bureaucrats,” he wrote.

“This Court should discount the Administration’s claim to deference for its decisions refusing to accommodate servicemembers’ sincerely held religious beliefs in this case,” the amicus brief filed by Miyares reads.

According to Miyares, of the 4,298 requests for religious exemption submitted, only 47 had been approved, with the remainder still pending.

“Those who have filed religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine deserve to be heard and taken seriously,” he wrote.

The case has now been remanded to a lower court, where it awaits a final decision that may have implications for the broader powers of the military to enforce health regulations on its recruits.