ObamaCare Victory in NY: If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere

By Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman

Religious freedom won a victory in New York in the first week of December when a federal court ruled on behalf of the Archdiocese of New York and other Catholic entities and against the Obama administration in their attempt to get the ObamaCare mandate case thrown out of court.

This is a very well-reasoned opinion that will benefit other non-profit entities around the country in their lawsuits against ObamaCare.  Alliance Defending Freedom represents four such groups that are Christian colleges, including Geneva College, Louisiana College, Grace Schools and Biola University.

The Obama administration argues that even though it finalized its rule against religious freedom last year, it vaguely says it will create an as-yet unwritten and uncertain change to the rule in late 2013, and impose the new rule on the New York entities in January 2014.  The government says groups have to wait until these uncertain changes happen before they can protect their religious freedom.

The judge correctly observed that these bureaucratic games are themselves a burden on religion.  It said that making an organization wait for future, uncertain and last-minute changes to an already-finalized rule would be the same as the groups “ignoring the speeding train that is coming towards plaintiffs in the hope that it will stop.”

It is bad enough for ObamaCare to assume it can trample on religious freedom.  It is even worse when federal bureaucrats claim the power to manipulate the regulatory process by pretending that they will adjust the final rule but hiding behind their refusal to actually enact any changes.  This is the inherent danger of handing our freedoms over to an all-powerful regulatory state.  But as the judge explained, “There is no, ‘Trust us, changes are coming’ clause in the Constitution.”

The judge also repeatedly cited the multiple injunctions that have been issued against ObamaCare’s abortion-inducing drug mandate, including two injunctions that Alliance Defending Freedom obtained for the Newland family’s Hercules Industries in Denver, and Tyndale House bible publishers in Illinois.  These cases show that ObamaCare cannot trump religious liberty, and there is no reason to wait to decide that issue for non-profit organizations too.

Author: Alliance Defending Freedom