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Federal judge rejects Oklahoma's lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate

Ronny Richert

An Oklahoma federal judge has ruled against the state in its lawsuit challenging the vaccine mandates for members of the Oklahoma National Guard.

On Tuesday, Senior U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot denied Oklahoma's request to stop a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the Oklahoma National Guard, saying the claims by Gov. Kevin Stitt, Attorney General John O'Connor and 16 anonymous Oklahoma Guard members were without merit.

"The vaccine mandate to which the governor objects is the one — in addition to the nine that already apply to all service members — intended to protect service members from the virus which has, in less than two years, killed more Americans than have been killed in action in all of the wars the United States has ever fought," Friot wrote in his order.

The judge also wrote that the members did not have the benefit of a well-informed leadership at the highest level of the Oklahoma Guard.

Stitt and O'Connor have spoken out against vaccine mandates, even for military members, and have filed several lawsuits challenging them. Stitt asserts the mandates violate personal freedoms.

Spokeswomen for both Stitt and O’Connor say they're still reviewing the judge's decision.

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Nyk has worked in radio since 2011 serving as a board operator, on-air announcer and production director for commercial radio stations in Iowa. Originally from the Quad Cities area, Nyk joined KGOU in 2018 as a practicum student studying Creative Media Production at OU. Upon graduating the following year, he became part of KGOU’s staff and is now the local Morning Edition host. When not on the air, Nyk likes to read, listen to music and follow news about the radio industry.
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