Archive: “Court Battles” Category
Posted by John Jansen (November 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm)
Today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the HHS Mandate brought by seven plaintiffs, most notably the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Churches and houses of worship are currently exempt from the mandate, but this is not the case for religious non-profit institutions. If groups like the Little Sisters do not want to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees, the Obama Administration offers an “accommodation” under which institutions are required to fill out a form noting their objection, which then shifts the coverage obligation to their insurance companies.
Supporters of religious freedom have rightly characterized this so-called accommodation as a “sham” because it still requires religious non-profits like the Little Sisters of the Poor to cooperate in a process that results in coverage of contraception for their employee health plans. As the Little Sisters’ brief to the Supreme Court said:
It is all well and good for HHS to think it has threaded the needle and found a way for religious nonprofits to comply with the mandate without violating their religious beliefs, but ultimately it is for the religious adherent to determine how much facilitation or complicity is too much.
Oral arguments are expected to heard in late March.
Posted by Matt Yonke (March 26, 2015 at 4:02 pm)
Indiana Governor Mike Pence just signed a new religious freedom bill into law, defending the right of people of faith to not be forced to act against their deeply held convictions.
The new measure, called the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”, is a state version of the federal law of the same name signed into law under President Clinton. In fact, President Obama himself voted for a similar law as a state senator in Illinois.
Indiana joins over 19 states and the federal government in enacting legislation to protect their citizens’ rights of conscience. The Stand Up for Religious Freedom Coalition applauds Governor Pence for taking this bold step to protect the religious freedom of the Hoosier state!
Posted by Matt Yonke (March 18, 2015 at 4:20 pm)
On Monday, March 16, U.S. District Judge John Kane issued a permanent injunction from the HHS Mandate to Hercules Industries, declaring that the family-owned business is protected by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
This declaration is a huge blow against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, and the latest in a string of victories against the controversial policy.
William Newland, one of the co-owners of the Colorado-based manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units, had this to say about the victory:
This final victory, a permanent injunction protecting us from the abortion-pill, contraception and sterilization mandate, has taught our family that we have been right to put God first, and be proactive to protect our right to live and work according to our faith. Spiritual treasures come before business tools.
This is a great sign for the hundreds of other lawsuits against the mandate currently being fought out in the courts.
Get more on this story here and stay tuned to the Stand Up for Religious Freedom blog for more news as it becomes available.
Posted by Matt Yonke (March 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm)
Just days ago, the US Supreme Court ordered a lower court to reconsider its ruling against the University of Notre Dame in their case against the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate!
The Seventh Circuit Court’s decision against Notre Dame essentially made it the only religious non-profit organization in the country not protected from Obama’s unjust mandate that businesses cover contraception, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans.
Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed an amicus brief in the case had this to say about the decision:
This is a major blow to the federal government’s contraception mandate. For the past year, the Notre Dame decision has been the centerpiece of the government’s effort to force religious ministries to violate their beliefs or pay fines to the IRS. As with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, this is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the government’s narrow view of religious liberty. The government fought hard to prevent this GVR, but the Supreme Court rejected their arguments.
Thank God for another win in the fight against this unjust mandate! Stay tuned to the Stand Up for Religious Freedom blog for more news as this and other cases unfold.
Find out more about the Notre Dame decision here.
Posted by Matt Yonke (January 8, 2015 at 4:33 pm)
A US District Court has ruled that the Federal Government cannot force a Catholic-owned Michigan company to provide insurance coverage for sterilization, contraceptives, and abortion-inducing drugs.
Michigan based Autocam Medical, LLC filed suit back in 2012 against the Obama Administration’s unjust HHS Mandate and, after failing to receive injunctive relief from it, took their case all the way to the US Supreme Court.
The High Court remanded the case back to the district court and this ruling in their favor is the result.
“Coercing citizens to violate their conscientious religious beliefs makes a mockery of the very notion of religious freedom,” Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society.
He said the ruling “sets another strong precedent for the free exercise of religious faith on the part of all American citizens.”
Read more about the case here and stay tuned to the Stand Up for Religious Freedom blog for more updates as news on the Mandate and the legal challenges to it roll in.
Posted by Eric Scheidler (August 27, 2014 at 7:30 pm)
After losing in the Hobby Lobby v Burwell Supreme Court case earlier this summer, the Obama administration has just issued new rules for the notorious “HHS Mandate,” the Obamacare provision that requires all employee health plans to include free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
This marks the eighth time the Obama administration has modified the HHS Mandate. Once again, they’re refusing to listen to the American people—or even the U.S. Supreme Court—and truly respect the employers’ conscience rights.
The new rules are nothing more than a slight variation of the so-called “accommodation” first announced in February 2012, whereby some “third party” will provide the objectionable services. I called that scheme a shell game at the time, and the description still fits. Others have called it an “accounting gimmick.”
All that’s changed is the paperwork involved in the process, which still requires employers to cooperate in providing contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans—or face annual fines up up to $36,500 per employee for refusing to go along. [Continue reading ...]
Posted by John Jansen (June 30, 2014 at 10:03 am)
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stunning decision today affirming the religious freedom rights of business owners, ruling in a 5-4 decision ruling that “closely held corporations” cannot be forced by the Obamacare HHS Mandate to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs to their employees.
In its opinion [PDF], the Court stated that the federal government failed to demonstrate that forcing private corporations to provide these drugs and procedures to employees—even if their owners have strong conscientious objections to them—is the “least restrictive means” of providing free access to them.
The decision in these cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, was the very last decision issued by the Court this term, and it was surely the most anticipated decision all year. That being said, it’s hard to underestimate the significance of this ruling affirming the First Amendment rights of business owners.
“This ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby is a victory for all who cherish religious freedom,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and one of the national directors of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies. “The movement that began with hundreds of protest rallies outside federal court buildings has just won a great victory inside the nation’s highest court.” [Continue reading ...]
Posted by Matt Yonke (June 24, 2014 at 2:32 pm)
This week the United States Supreme Court will hand down its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which combines both the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius cases challenging Obama’s HHS Mandate.
This will be the biggest ruling yet in a case challenging the HHS Mandate, and we need to come out in force to show our zeal to protect our religious freedoms.
A rally will be held on the steps of the Supreme Court this Thursday at 9 a.m., when the ruling could come down. If you’re in the Washington DC area, please join the rally and spread the word to your friends and family! Get all the details right here.
If you can’t join the rally in person, join in the Tweet Storm on Thursday morning using the hashtags #womenincontrol and #religiousfreedom.
Here are some sample tweets you can use Thursday morning:
[Continue reading ...]
Posted by Eric Scheidler (March 28, 2014 at 10:24 am)
It was my great honor to speak at a rally held Tuesday outside the Supreme Court as oral arguments were being heard in the Sebelius v Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v Sebelius HHS Mandate cases. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are challenging the mandate, enacted under Obamacare, which compels them to provide free abortion-inducing drugs through their employee health plans.
Other speakers at the rally included Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, Lila Rose of Life Action and Meg McDonnell of Women Speak for Themselves, and several more articulate, outspoken women. The only men to speak were Fr Frank Pavone and me—a point I remarked on in my comments, which you can hear in full in the above video.
Father of Six Daughters Speaks Out
After declaring that women’s wellbeing is especially important to me as the father of six daughters, [Continue reading ...]
Posted by Matt Yonke (March 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm)
Today the Supreme Court heard the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius cases, which challenge President Obama’s HHS Contraceptive Mandate. You can read the transcript of today’s hearing here [PDF].
These cases stand to overturn the Mandate with decisions in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga.
Supporters of religious freedom rallied outside the Supreme Court, and Stand Up for Religious Freedom co-director Eric Scheidler spoke at the rally [pictured above] along with such notables as Senator Ted Cruz and Live Action’s Lila Rose.
Reports coming out in the wake of this morning’s hearing point to cautious optimism for a Hobby Lobby victory. LifeNews.com reports several sources predicting a Hobby Lobby victory, and an article by Ian Millhiser on the liberal news site ThinkProgress.org reported similar sentiments. [Continue reading ...]