ACLJ: Federal Appeals Court Clears Way to Put ObamaCare HHS Mandate on Hold; Significant Victory for Illinois Company | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

1384188731000

(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a pro-life legal organization that focuses on constitutional law, said a decision by a federal appeals court that clears the way for the ObamaCare HHS Mandate to be put on hold represents a “significant victory for protecting the religious beliefs of individuals and corporations.” The opinion, posted here, comes in the case of Korte v. Sebelius.

In a 2-1 decision issued Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the court reversed the federal district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction and remanded the case for the district court to enter the preliminary injunction.  At the same time, the court upheld the rights of both individuals and companies to challenge the ObamaCare HHS Mandate – the first decision of its kind in the ongoing HHS Mandate litigation.

“This is a significant victory for protecting the religious beliefs of individuals and corporations,” said Edward White, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ who represents the Illinois company. “It is also important to note that the appeals court determined that the HHS Mandate should not move forward against our clients while this issue is being litigated. It has been our position from the beginning that the HHS Mandate violates America’s longstanding history of protecting conscience rights. The Mandate is unlawfully compelling employers such as our clients to do the following: abandon their faith to comply with the law, or follow their faith and pay significant annual penalties to the federal government. The decision by the appeals court is encouraging as this issue heads to the Supreme Court.”

The ACLJ represents Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., a family owned, full-service construction contractor serving Central and Southern Illinois for over 50 years. The company is located in Highland, Illinois and has about 90 full time employees. The company provides a group health insurance plan for only its non-union employees, which number about 20. Cyril B. Korte and Jane E. Korte own a controlling interest in the company and contend the HHS mandate violates their Catholic faith. The ACLJ filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the individuals and company in October 2012 and that is posted here.

In the appeals court decision issued Friday, the majority concluded: “We hold that the plaintiffs – the business owners and their companies – may challenge the mandate. We further hold that compelling them to cover these services substantially burdens their religious exercise rights. Under RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) the government must justify the burden under the standard of strict scrutiny. So far it has not done so, and we doubt that it can. Because the RFRA claims are very likely to succeed and the balance of harms favors protecting the religious-liberty rights of the plaintiffs, we reverse and remand with instructions to enter preliminary injunctions.”

This decision comes just days after the ACLJ filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, posted here, in the case of Gilardi v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The ACLJ urged the high court to overturn an appeals court decision that refused to permit companies and corporations from bringing religious liberty claims in challenging the Mandate.

To date, 40 for-profit business owners have filed legal challenges to the Mandate. The ACLJ has filed 7 cases in federal court including the Korte case.

In addition to the direct challenges, the ACLJ has filed more than 15 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

ACLJ Files at Supreme Court to Defeat Abortion-Pill Mandate

By Geoffrey Surtees1583790229750

Today, the ACLJ filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Trump Administration and their efforts to defend religious employers that object to the abortion-pill mandate. The brief was submitted on behalf of over 463,000 ACLJ...

read more

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear ObamaCare Case for 3rd Time

By Jordan Sekulow1583273806588

This could finally be the death knell for ObamaCare. The Supreme Court just agreed to hear a THIRD major challenge to ObamaCare, aka the Affordable Care Act, after a group of conservative-led states argued that the law is now, at least in part, unconstitutional. As reported by Fox News : The U.S.

read more

JSL: ObamaCare Survival Back at the Supreme Court

By Jordan Sekulow1583189623062

ObamaCare is heading back to the Supreme Court in a case that could be the final blow to the Affordable Care Act. On today’s Jay Sekulow Live we discussed ObamaCare heading back to the Supreme Court. With tomorrow being Super Tuesday, we also provided updated analysis on the race for the Democrat...

read more

Court Holds ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

By Laura Hernandez1577720533204

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. As we explained earlier , the individual mandate required millions of Americans to buy and indefinitely maintain health insurance or face annual penalties. The Supreme...

read more