Blog Post

Judge Grants Reprieve to Catholic Business

A U.S. District Court in Colorado granted an injunction to a Catholic-owned business that halts the August 1 implementation of the controversial HHS mandate pending further review of the firm's lawsuit.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a public interest law firm that is defending the Newland family, the owners of Hercules, Inc., has secured the first victory against ObamaCare's birth control mandate. The court granted the Newland family an injunction that prevents the oppressive rule from being implemented - along with its crippling fines for non-compliance - pending further legal review of their case.

"On balance, the threatened harm to plaintiffs, impingement of their right to freely exercise their religious beliefs, and the concomitant public interest in that right strongly favor the entry of injunctive relief," Judge John L. Kane wrote in the order.

As the ADF explains: "The court rightly held that the government failed to show that its goal of providing 'health care' would somehow be thwarted by exempting the Newlands because it already exempts '191 million Americans' for various secular reasons. It held that preventing the government from enforcing its regulation, 'pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon Plaintiffs’ constitutional and statutory rights'.”

The government argued that the Newlands forfeited their constitutional rights when they started their family business.

"But Christians or other people of faith do not lose their God-given right to religious freedom when they earn a living.  Fortunately, the court did not accept such an outrageous position," the ADF writes.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she was “disappointed” in the ruling but remains confident "that as this case moves through the courts, the policy that most health insurance plans cover contraception will be upheld.”

Judge Kane's ruling only applies to Hercules and does not stop the implementation of the mandate which is scheduled to take effect on Wednesday.

At present, more than two dozen lawsuits have been filed against the mandate with most concerning religious institutions that qualify for a one-year extension.

"While this decision is a tremendous victory for people of faith, it is not the end," the ADF reports. "Rather, it is the first battle in an ongoing war—a war to determine whether the government gets to decide not only who is religious, but which religious beliefs are worthy of protection."

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