Federal Courts Give Alliance Defending Freedom Important Victories in Mandate Lawsuits
- By Alan Sears
- Posted Feb 5, 2013
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Two crucial decisions last week by federal courts solidified the legal case Alliance Defending Freedom is making on behalf of a broad cross-section of Christians opposed to the ObamaCare abortion pill mandate.
These are important early-round decisions in an epic legal battle that has enormous implications for you, your family, and for every Christian employer in the country. The abortion mandate requires employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception or face such heavy financial penalties as to be a “death penalty” for almost any business – a clear violation of the God-given religious freedoms protected by the First Amendment.
On January 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the mandate against family-run Grote Industries, an Indiana-based vehicle lighting manufacturer that filed suit in October of last year.
Then, on February 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit issued a similar preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the mandate against Annex Medical, a Minnesota family-run business represented by Zachary S. Kestler of ActRight Legal Foundation (one of nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom).
“Americans have the God-given freedom to live and do business according to their faith,” says Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “Forcing employers to surrender their faith in order to earn a living is unprecedented, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. Honoring God is important every day, in all areas of life, including in our work. Freedom is not the government’s to give and take away when it pleases.
“These courts have delivered the Obama administration a reminder of this foundational truth, and we are confident that this unconstitutional mandate’s days are numbered,” he says.
In what may be an indication that the administration thinks so, too, the Department of Health and Human Services on February 1 begrudgingly released some proposed changes to the contraceptive mandate – proposals seemingly designed to defuse the opposition of churches without changing any of the mandate’s implications for Christian business owners or for many ministries. As Bowman points out, that’s not enough.
“All Americans, not just those in church organizations, are guaranteed freedom of conscience in their daily lives and work,” he says. “The administration’s narrow gesture does nothing to protect many faith-based employers or religious families from the unconstitutional abortion pill mandate. The government has no business putting religious freedom on the negotiating table, or picking and choosing who is allowed to exercise faith.”
“The administration must immediately abandon the idea that it has the power to withhold or dispense our fundamental freedoms to whomever it chooses,” he says. “The mandate is losing in court. The only acceptable solution is for the administration to obey the Constitution and its legal duty to protect religious freedom.”
The battle is joined – please continue to pray for us, stand with us, and support us in this epic struggle. This mandate poses the most significant challenge to religious freedom we have faced in the courts in my lifetime, and I urge you to make it a matter of fervent prayer, as so much depends on the outcome of these cases.
Author: Alan Sears