It’s filed. Case No. 4:22-cv-00438 in E.D. TX. ECF Filed Complt 5-23-22
Yeah, I know. Believe me, I can feel the weight of your needs and expectations.
I had it ready on Wednesday, May 11, for the record, but my local Texas counsel was in training until the end of that week. (May 14). I waited and then when I reached out to him, it turned out that he went right from training to prep for a court-martial… in Korea. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell those folks who’ve lived and deployed on the other side of the planet, but it’s a crazy thing. When I was living in Hangzhou, China (PRC), my family used to get bummed because of how infrequently we would communicate – and I would try to explain that a big part of that was because we were living “opposite” lives –
I was waking up and they were going to bed; they were waking up and I was going to bed. It’s kinda like living with someone who works third shift; it’s like you’re living with a vampire. You really are living two different realities, more like living a conversation, living in response to one another, but never together at the same time. For those old enough to remember, the movie Ladyhawke comes to mind, where Rutger Hauer’s and Michelle Pfeiffer’s characters are cursed to live apart similarly.
Anyway, I started trying to search around to find another local counsel because I know some of you are in the hot seat. I don’t know if this will surprise you, but notwithstanding the general public support for the military – at least if judged by yellow magnet ribbons on minivans – it’s hard to find a lawyer willing to put their name on the dotted line for a 500+ member class action suit challenging the military’s vaccine mandate. Fortunately, I was able to find someone, but she had issues with her electronic filing account. ECF is the federal court integrated electronic case filing system and, like most government IT projects, it’s shit. I love that we have something, but the system has been clunky and difficult since it first came online back in the early 2000’s. ECF has moved to “Next Gen(!)” ECF and that hasn’t helped very much. It took her a few days to get her new account all wired up, but thankfully, she was able to get it online today and we got it filed (together).
So, that nonsense is (mostly) done. I still have to get with the clerk because despite twice trying to upload our 39 exhibits – and paying the filing fee twice – the system wouldn’t take them because they’re more than 15 MB. (And most of you reading that number will now likely appreciate above criticism of the ECF system.)
What’s to come
My paralegal has reached out to those of you needing a TRO to get updated declarations that illustrate the fact that you’re out of options (or, as the old aviation joke goes, “out of airspeed, altitude, fuel, and ideas.”) After we get the complaint served on the government agencies and the US attorney in the district in the next few days, AND both Brandon Johnson of Defending the Republic and I get our Motions to Appear pro hac vice (PHV) to the court, then we’ll get our TRO together for filing to try to pause any actions against you during the pendency of the litigation. That’s the next big hurdle.
In some other related notes, I don’t know if you all have seen already, but Navy LT Billy Moseley was successful at his BOI. Davis Younts represented him using a grant from the Truth for Health Foundation! So, congratulations to them, and to our brother LT Moseley, who was originally part of this suit. That is a great outcome and could be really helpful news for many of you. OTOH, it could also mean the government will simply give everyone “Honorable” discharges under the “Convenience of the Government/Service” rules and skip everyone’s right to a board. I’m certain all services have regs that allows the Secretary concerned to simply issue you a clean DD-214 and avoid getting embarrassed at another BOI.
So, let’s keep our eyes peeled.
I will also be entering an appearance in the Coker v. Austin case in Pensacola (N.D. FL) to assist Brandon, DTR, and their plaintiffs. That is a huge help because, as I’ve mentioned to others before, Coker is “down the road” a ways procedurally and makes some of the same arguments regarding the FDA actions, so you all will get the benefit of that experience inside of my brain as we move forward.
In the meantime, hang in there. I can’t say we’re “wings level” yet, but we’re certainly IP inbound and bringing the (legal) heat.