Search  |  Login  |  Register

1356116505000

(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a pro-life legal organization that focuses on constitutional law, applauds yesterday’s granting of a preliminary injunction by the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Missouri ordering the federal government not to enforce the HHS “preventive services” mandate against a group of family owned businesses who object to complying with it on religious grounds. Judge Richard Dorr’s order granting the injunction may be found here.

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 150 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 belief that they may not pay for such services.

In granting the injunction, Judge Dorr first noted that a decision in late November by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in another ACLJ case, O’Brien Industrial Holdings, Inc. vs. HHS, et al., was strong precedent in favor of the Griesediecks’ claim. The court went on to find, however, that the government’s argument that any causation between the Griesedieck Companies and the use of the objected-to services would be broken by their employees’ own decisions to use those services was directly contrary to well established Supreme Court precedent. Judge Dorr also observed that the government’s argument that the mandate is necessary to further a compelling governmental interest was contradicted by the presence in the mandate of exemptions covering tens of millions of employees. In Judge Dorr’s words, “these exemptions undermineany compelling interest in applying the preventative coverage mandate to Plaintiffs.”

Francis J. Manion, Senior Counsel for the ACLJ, said of the court’s ruling: “We are very pleased that the Court agreed that theGriesediecks’ right of religious liberty deserves protection while this case moves forward. The mandate is an unprecedented attack on the first right protected in our Bill of Rights. The government simply cannot demonstrate that there is some compelling need to force all religious objectors to conform to its dictates on this issue. That’s not how this country was envisioned by its Founders. They sought to give the widest berth possible to diverse religious views and practices – not to coerce all citizens into obeying whatever secular orthodoxy happens to be in vogue at any given time.”

The Griesediecks’ case is the ACLJ’s 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 Griesedieck lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Missouri, contends that the HHS mandate violates constitutional and statutory rights by requiring the four Missouri companies owned by the family to purchase health insurance for employees that includes coverage for abortion-inducing drugs. The ACLJ argues that the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

The ACLJ is being assisted in this case by Missouri attorney Todd A.Nielsen of Kansas City, MO.

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

Latest in
ObamaCare

Efforts Against Abortion Pill Mandate

By Edward White1412607468142

Litigation generally takes a long time before a case is finally resolved. Despite the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision this past summer, ruling that the HHS Mandate violates the religious exercise rights of for-profit businesses and their owners who oppose having to pay for abortion pill...

read more

Obama Repackages Abortion-Pill Mandate

By Matthew Clark1408738939000

The Obama Administration is not one to let a mere Supreme Court decision get in the way of its radical pro-abortion agenda. After losing major abortion-pill mandate litigation at the Supreme Court and then failing in an attempt to ram a new abortion-pill mandate through Congress (where it couldn’t...

read more

Another Win in HHS Mandate Litigation

By Edward White1407812800000

Over the past few years, the ACLJ has represented numerous businesses and their owners in seven lawsuits challenging the HHS Mandate, which requires businesses to include in their health plans coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs in order to avoid crippling...

read more

Massive Blow to ObamaCare

By David French1406047849000

It looks like Nancy Pelosi should have read ObamaCare before she passed it. This morning, in a 2-1 decision the D.C. Circuit struck down a lawless IRS rule that dramatically extended ObamaCare subsidies well beyond the law’s written guidelines. Put simply, the D.C. Circuit found that ObamaCare...

read more