Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ HHS Mandate Scorecard: 7-0

By Geoffrey Surtees1366659579000

Just over one year ago, the ACLJ filed the first lawsuit against the HHS Mandate on behalf of a for-profit employer, Frank O’Brien and O’Brien Industrial Holdings. As you know, the Mandate requires many employers to provide coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, sterilization, and related education and counseling in their employee health plans, with no religious exemption or accommodation for business owners who believe that providing such coverage is immoral.

Last November, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has authority over seven federal courts in the country, issued an injunction in favor of Frank O’Brien and his business. This decision, the first victory against the Mandate in the federal courts of appeal, allows Frank O’Brien to continue operating his business according to his religious beliefs pending the appeal of the case.

Since last November, the ACLJ has obtained a preliminary injunction in six other cases, including from two other federal courts of appeal: the Seventh and D.C. Circuits. 

The most recent injunction in our favor came down last Friday, when Judge Ruben Castillo of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a preliminary injunction protecting our clients, Fred and Catherine Hartenbower, and their businesses, Hart Electric and H.I. Hart, from having to comply with the Mandate. [see attached order]

What’s most noteworthy about this order is that the Department of Justice, charged with the responsibility of defending the government in the nationwide challenges against the Mandate, did not oppose it. In light of our victory before the Seventh Circuit last December, which granted our clients Cyril and Jane Korte an injunction pending appeal, as well as an additional Mandate case that sought and obtained the same injunctive relief, the DOJ understood that it would have been a waste of time and energy to oppose our request for a preliminary injunction before the federal court in Chicago.

What we said in the unopposed motion filed last week captures well what is at stake in the Mandate challenges pending in federal courts across the country:

Plaintiffs wish to run their businesses in a manner consistent with their religious values and beliefs, including in the choice of a health plan for themselves and their employees. Regulations imposed by Defendants, however, requiring that group health plans include FDA-approved contraceptive methods and sterilization procedures as well as patient education and counseling about those services do not allow Plaintiffs to do so. Plaintiffs’ religious principles and beliefs not only provide that abortion, contraception, and sterilization are immoral, but that directly paying for the use of such products and services through a group health plan is immoral as well. Plaintiffs are thus confronted with a Hobson’s choice: violate their religious beliefs in the management of their businesses, or pay the federal government in order to act consistently with their faith.

This is a choice the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment do not allow the federal government to impose on its citizens. If the free exercise of religion means anything, it means the right of citizens to conduct their personal and professional lives in a manner true to their religious beliefs.

Over the next few months, federal courts of appeal will hear arguments in several Mandate challenges, including ones brought by the ACLJ. How decisions from these courts will turn out remains to be seen, but one thing is crystal clear: we will not rest until the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes and restores the right to religious freedom guaranteed by our Constitution and protected by federal law.

Latest in
ObamaCare

Any Wonder ObamaCare Funds Abortion?

By Matthew Clark1418398462910

After his “glib” apology before Congress this week for calling the American people “stupid,” ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber attempted to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and … dodge every substantive question that came his way. He refused to answer even the simplest questions like how much ( millions )

read more

Abortion Distortion in Obamacare

By Nathanael Bennett1417634863942

From day one, we have warned that the real danger of Obamacare is not in the 2,700 pages of its text (as bad as they are), but in the hundreds of thousands of pages of rules and regulations that would flow out of that text. This week provides yet another example of that danger, and it is in the...

read more

Stimulus & ObamaCare “A Mistake”

By Matthew Clark1417020813934

Yesterday, liberal Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer lambasted Democrats for the political failure of both ObamaCare and the stimulus. While he certainly has not changed his core belief that government can solve all the people’s ills (and said as much), he slammed his party for its political failures.

read more

Obama Admin Grubered Americans

By Matthew Clark1416595737305

The lesson we learn from Jonathan Gruber (the MIT professor turned high-paid ObamaCare architect who admitted the Administration deceived the public to pass ObamaCare) is that the Obama Administration will do or say anything to prop up ObamaCare. You know the litany of lies (you can keep you plan,

read more