NY Archdiocese Scores Big Win in Mandate Case
Posted by Matt Yonke (December 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm)
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan (right) has ruled that the Archdiocese of New York may move forward with its case against the Obama Administration over the HHS Mandate.
The administration had argued that, because they had granted a year long “safe harbor” period to religious institutions before the Mandate would take effect, the Archdiocese and other groups had no standing to sue yet.
But Judge Cogan disagreed, saying:
Fundamentally . . . this Court cannot accept that the present costs incurred by plaintiffs are simply the result of their “desire to prepare for contingencies.” Quite frankly, ignoring the speeding train that is coming towards plaintiffs in the hope that it will stop might well be inconsistent with the fiduciary duties that plaintiffs’ directors or officers owe to their members. As explained above, the practical realities of administering health care coverage for large numbers of employees — which defendants’ recognize — require plaintiffs to incur these costs in advance of the impending effectiveness of the Coverage Mandate. That is a business reality that any responsible board of directors would have to appreciate.
Moreover, the First Amendment does not require citizens to accept assurances from the government that, if the government later determines it has made a misstep, it will take ameliorative action. There is no, “Trust us, changes are coming” clause in the Constitution. To the contrary, the Bill of Rights itself, and the First Amendment in particular, reflect a degree of skepticism towards governmental self-restraint and self-correction. . . Considering the extraordinary political passion surrounding the Coverage Mandate from all sides, there is simply no way to predict what, if any, changes to the Coverage Mandate will be made, even if some policymakers favor certain changes.
That is to say, the Obama Administration’s promises that things will change and religious institutions will be not be forced to compromise their beliefs are hollow and cannot be relied upon. In light of that, and because the Archdiocese of New York and many religious institutions like it must prepare now if they are to be forced to comply with the Mandate, the suit must be allowed to proceed now.
Kathryn Lopez of the National Review called the ruling a “slap down” of the administration, and it’s about time.
Keep the Archdiocese of New York’s lawsuit, and the over 40 other currently in litigation, in your prayers in the days and weeks ahead. They may be our last hope of protecting our precious freedoms.
Read Judge Cogan’s entire ruling here.