ACLJ Adds New Legal Challenge: Federal Suit Filed to Block HHS Mandate for Missouri Companies | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

1350669136000

(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a pro-life legal organization that focuses on constitutional law, today filed its third direct challenge to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the basis that the mandate violates the religious beliefs of business owners. The lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Missouri and contends that the HHS mandate violates constitutional and statutory rights by requiring four Missouri companies to purchase health insurance for employees that includes coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.

The ACLJ represents Paul and Henry Griesedieck, who own and control four companies that are involved, generally, in the business of wholesale scrap metal recycling and manufacturing of recycling machines. The four companies are: Springfield Iron and Metal located in Springfield, Missouri; American Pulverizer and City Welding – both located in St. Louis, Missouri; and Hustler Conveyor, which is located in O’Fallon, Missouri. The companies employ approximately 175 people who are covered by three separate health insurance policies. The owners, who are Evangelical Christians, contend that the HHS mandate requiring coverage for abortion-inducing drugs – including the “morning-after pill” – violates their religious beliefs.

“The HHS mandate is an unprecedented violation of religious liberty,” said Francis Manion, ACLJ Senior Counsel. “Coercing Americans into paying for services that violate their religious beliefs goes against our nation’s best traditions of respect for the religious diversity of our people. It’s also against the law.”

The lawsuit, posted here, argues that the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

The lawsuit contends that Paul and Henry Griesedieck, the owners of the companies, “are confronted with choosing between complying with its requirements in violation of their religious beliefs, or paying ruinous fines that would have a crippling impact on their ability to survive economically.” The suit argues the mandate forces them to “provide their employees with coverage of those services that Plaintiffs consider immoral on religious grounds.”

Manion added: “Our clients simply want to run their business in a way that doesn't force them to violate their religious beliefs. For the government to require them to choose between abandoning their beliefs or abandoning their business is both unfair and unconstitutional. We will ask the court in this case to uphold our clients' right of religious liberty in the face of this unwarranted abuse of governmental power.”

In the suit, the ACLJ is requesting that the court block implementation of the mandate to prevent it from being enforced when the company renews its health insurance policies in December.

Today’s suit represents the third direct challenge in federal court by the ACLJ to the HHS mandate.

Last week, the ACLJ filed suit on behalf of Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., a family owned, full-service construction contractor located in Highland, Illinois. The suit contends that the HHS mandate violates the Catholic faith of the company’s owners. And in March, the ACLJ filed a federal suit on behalf of O'Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC (OIH) - a holding company based in St. Louis, Missouri. That case is now before a federal appeals court after a lower court dismissed the suit.

In addition to the direct challenges, the ACLJ has filed numerous amicus briefs backing other legal challenges to the HHS mandate.

Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the ACLJ is based in Washington, D.C.

 

Latest in
ObamaCare

Seven Steps to Dismantle Obamacare

By Harry G. Hutchison1479228324786

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) was enacted with great fanfare and unrivaled deception in 2010 as part of a duplicitous plan to destroy America’s private health care system as we know it. The Speaker of the House at the time, Nancy Pelosi, infamously said in March 2010 that, “we have to pass...

read more

The Obamacare Deception Threatens America

By Harry G. Hutchison1477500715632

Promising to bring costs down and increase access on the one hand, and enacted with enormous fanfare and unequaled deception on the other, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) became law in 2010. This law was perhaps the most ambitious social legislation in...

read more

“Pure Applesauce”

By Matthew Clark1456416575920

One of Justice Scalia’s most memorable moments came in a compelling dissent to one of the recent ObamaCare cases. He cut through the majority opinion’s ambiguous, contorted, and complex legal justification for upholding the “SCOTUScare” exchanges in just two words: “ Pure applesauce. ” Pondering...

read more

HHS Mandate Challenges Move Forward

By Geoffrey Surtees1442515755574

Thanks to two decisions of a federal court of appeals handed down today ( here and here ), it is now almost certain that the U.S. Supreme Court will decide next term whether the Obama administration can force religious entities, institutions, and groups -- under pain of severe financial penalties...

read more