Dozens of Challenges to HHS Mandate

 

As businesses prepare for the new insurance coverage requirements set out in the HHS Mandate, dozens of business owners seek to challenge the mandate on religious grounds -- stating that the requirement that they provide coverage for contraception, abortifacients and sterilizations violates their religious freedom.

Here is a list of several recent cases and the courts' decisions.

 

  • O’Brien Industrial Holdings, a Missouri-based, mining and processing refractory of ceramic raw materials, granted preliminary injunction against HHS Mandate.

ACLJ senior counsel Francis Manion, who represents O’Brien, stated: “The order sends a message that the religious beliefs of employers must be respected by the government. We have argued from the beginning that employers like Frank O’Brien must be able to operate their business in a manner consistent with their moral values, not the values of the government.”

See the Nov. 28, 2012 Heraldonline article here.

 

  • Tyndale House, a Christian publishing company, granted preliminary injunction against HHS Mandate.

    Though Tyndale House currently provides contraceptive coverage for approximately 260 employees, it does not wish to provide coverage for contraception it equates with abortion, such as the Plan B pill and IUDs.

See the Nov. 16, 2012 Huffington Post article here.

 

  • Weingartz Supply Company, a Michigan-based, secular, for-profit company whose owner is a devout Catholic, granted preliminary injunction against HHS Mandate.

    In granting the preliminary injunction, Judge Robert H. Cleland of the Eastern District of Michigan declared that it is “not the role of judges to second-guess a person’s sincere understanding of what his religious doctrine requires,” and “[T]he harm in delaying the implementation of a statute that may later be deemed constitutional must yield to the risk presented here of substantially infringing the sincere exercise of religious beliefs.  The balance of harms tips strongly in Plaintiffs’ favor.  A preliminary injunction is warranted.”

    See the Nov. 1, 2012 LifeNews article here.

 

  • Liberty University and two private individuals granted their petition for rehearing by the United States Supreme Court.

    At issue is whether the HHS Mandate is constitutional and whether President Obama’s funding of abortion is constitutional under the First Amendment’s Free Exercise of Religion Clause and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The case will be reheard at the federal court of appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

    See the Nov. 26, 2012 Liberty Counsel press release here.


  • Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based family business, granted preliminary injunction against HHS Mandate.

    At issue is whether owners of family-owned businesses like Hercules Industries are “free to operate the businesses they built in accordance with their religious convictions or whether they can be forced by the government to violate their faith in order to keep afloat.”

    Colorado federal district court judge John L. Kane stated that “the harm to the government from non-enforcement ‘pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon [the Newlands’] constitutional and statutory rights.’”

    See the July 29, 2012 Heritage Foundation article here.

 

  • Hobby Lobby Store, Inc. denied injunction request against HHS Mandate.

    In denying Hobby Lobby’s request, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton stated that Hobby Lobby is not a religious organization and that "[T]he question of whether the Greens (Hobby Lobby’s owners) can establish a free exercise constitutional violation by reason of restrictions or requirements imposed on general business corporations they own or control involves largely uncharted waters."

    See the Nov. 19, 2012 FoxNews article here.