Commander Furniss Harkness is a Protestant Chaplain in the Unites States Navy Reserves. During his illustrious service in the Chaplain Corps, he has had a bit of a history of speaking his mind, including a prior lawsuit, filed, along with sixteen other non-liturgical Protestants in 2000, that claimed systemic denominational prejudice.
This time, Commander Harkness is miffed about a denied promotion. As one would expect, the Navy has a number of very specific procedures that must be followed when considering officers for promotions, including the formation of a selection board consisting, in part, of at least a single officer of the same classification as the candidate (i.e., another chaplain).
Harkness didn’t immediately leap to litigation. Instead, he petitioned the Secretary to convene a “special selection board” to reconsider the promotion. That request was denied. He also asked for an investigation of the original selection board itself, but that investigation yielded no evidence of wrongdoing.