Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fed. Judge Rules Against ObamaCare, For Catholics

U.S. District Court Judge John Kane issued an injunction against enforcement of the ObamaCare regulation requiring a Denver Catholic family-owned business to violate it's religious beliefs. In the case, President Obama's Department of Justice argued that Catholics who don't want to pay for abortifacient drugs, etc. via their health insurance, can simply fold their businesses to avoid violation of their religious conscience.

For background, read Missouri Business Sues ObamaCare in War on Christianity and also read Evangelical Wheaton College Sues ObamaCare as well as Bishops Throw Down Gauntlet: Obama War on Christianity

UPDATE 3/15/13: U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff rules for Catholic Tom Monaghan of Domino's Pizza by granting a preliminary injunction against ObamaCare fines

UPDATE 11/2/12: Michigan federal district Judge Robert Cleland blocks ObamaCare, favoring Daniel Weingartz's family-owned Catholic business

UPDATE 9/14/12: Retailer Hobby Lobby, owned by Evangelical family, sues ObamaCare

UPDATE 7/29/12 - Fox News interviews Mr. Newland and attorney (video):

UPDATE 7/31/12
- Fox News interview (America Live video):

-- From "Colo. employer wins early round on birth control" by Catherine Tsai, Associated Press 7/27/12

The Obama administration's health care package requires group health plans to offer no-cost preventive care coverage to women for items including birth control. The Colorado-based heating and air conditioning business Hercules Industries Inc. is run by a family whose Roman Catholic beliefs condemn contraception, but the company doesn't qualify as a religious employer exempt from providing the coverage. Under the legislation, Hercules would soon have to offer it.

Hercules Industries, owned by William Newland and his siblings, sought relief in court.

The Newlands say they are trying to run their company in a way that reflects their religious beliefs. The federal government has argued that a for-profit, secular corporation can't exercise religion.

[Judge Kane] said the government's argument that exempting Hercules Industries would hurt its ability to administer the health care law was undermined by exemptions for more than 190 million health plan participants and beneficiaries.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge blocks contraception mandate in religious liberty lawsuit" by Joel Gehrke, Commentary Writer, The Washington Examiner 7/28/12

“A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy; accordingly, the right to relief must be clear and unequivocal,” Judge John Kane — an appointee of President Jimmy Carter’s — wrote as he explained his order today. “On balance, the threatened harm to Plaintiffs, impingement of their right to freely exercise their religious beliefs, and the concommittant public interest in that right s[t]rongly favor the entry of injunctive relief.”

“Can a corporation exercise religion?” Kane asked in his order. “Should a closely-held subchapter-s corporation owned and operated by a small group of individuals professing adherence to uniform religious beliefs be treated differently than a publicly held corporation owned and operated by a group of stakeholders with diverse religious beliefs? Is it possible to ‘pierce the veil’ and disregard the corporate form in this context? What is the significance of the pass-through taxation applicable to subchapter-s corporations as it pertains to this analysis? These questions merit more deliberate investigation.”

Kane stressed that only Hercules enjoys this preliminary injunction. “This injunction is, however, premised upon the alleged substantial burden on Plaintiffs’ free exercise of religion – not to any alleged burden on any other party’s free exercise of religion,” he wrote. “It does not enjoin enforcement of the preventive care coverage mandate against any other party.”

The lawsuit was brought by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the owners of Hercules Industries, Inc. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "DOJ to Colorado Family: Give Up Your Religion or Your Business" by Terence P. Jeffrey, 7/26/12

“Hercules Industries has ‘made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business,” the Justice Department said in a formal filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Under the Obamacare law, businesses that have more than 50 employees must provide health insurance to their employees or face a penalty. To satisfy the mandate, the insurance must include the cost-sharing-free sterilization-contraception-abortifacient benefit. The regulation takes effect on Aug. 1, which means that as soon as any business starts a new plan-year for its health-insurance program after that date it will need to comply with [HHS Secretary] Sebelius's rule.

[In the case, the] Justice Department responded by arguing that if the Newlands’ Roman Catholic faith prevented them from following the Obama administration’s command that they provide their employees with cost-sharing-free coverage for sterilizations, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, the Newlands could simply give up their business entirely.

The Justice Department further argued that people owning for-profit secular businesses do not have a First Amendment right to the free exercise religion in the way they conduct their businesses—particularly if their business is incorporated.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Hercules Halts Obamacare in Round One of Anti-Conscience Mandate Fight" by John G. Malcolm and Dominique Ludvigson, posted at Heritage Foundation 7/29/12

The Administration, according to Judge Kane, argued that “as a for-profit, secular employer, Hercules cannot engage in an exercise of religion.” In other words, the company owners forfeited their right to religious liberty as soon as they sought to earn a living by running a corporation. Under that logic, if the government decided to require any business that served or prepared food to offer pork, kosher or halal butchers would be forced to forgo their most deeply held religious convictions in order to stay in business. Accepting the government’s position would effectively push religion out of every sphere of public life and restrict the free exercise rights of adherents to live out their faiths in their day-to-day lives. The plaintiffs presented a strong argument that RFRA’s religious liberty guarantee is not limited to individuals alone acting within their houses of worship.

Judge Kane’s decision identified two key portions of the company’s articles of incorporation reflecting the role of religion in its corporate governance—a statement that its primary purposes were to be achieved by “following appropriate religious, ethical or moral standards” and another that directed its board to prioritize those “religious, ethical or moral standards” at the expense of profitability.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.