Sunday, November 18, 2012

Judges Rule Against ObamaCare, Favor Christians

In a series of court cases wherein Christian businesses have challenged the right of ObamaCare to infringe religious liberty, judges have ruled against President Obama's expansive federal government.  On Friday, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton favored Tyndale House Publishers of Illinois by granting a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of anti-Christian elements of ObamaCare.

For background, click headlines below for related articles:

Federal Judge Rules Against ObamaCare, For Catholics

Missouri Business Sues ObamaCare in War on Christianity

Bishops Say Catholic Church Will Defy ObamaCare

Evangelical Wheaton College Sues ObamaCare

Also read Supreme Court OKs Taxes for Abortion: ObamaCare

-- From "Bible Publisher Won’t Have to Fund Birth Control Coverage" by Tom Schoenberg, Bloomberg Businessweek 11/16/12

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton in Washington today ruled that the law’s coverage mandate “substantially burdens” the religious exercise of Tyndale House Publishers Inc. by imposing “considerable” financial penalties for failing to offer birth control coverage to its 260 full-time employees.

The mandate “places the plaintiffs in the untenable position of choosing either to violate their religious beliefs by providing coverage of the contraceptives at issue or to subject their business to the continual risk of the imposition of enormous penalties for its noncompliance,” Walton wrote.

That “places substantial pressure on the plaintiffs to violate their beliefs,” the judge wrote in issuing a preliminary injunction

The case is Tyndale House Publishers Inc. v. Sebelius, 12- cv-01635, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge sides with company on contraceptive coverage" by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press 11/16/12

Walton acknowledged that the government has broad, compelling interests in promoting public health and ensuring that women have equal access to health care, but he said the question "is whether the government has shown that the application of the contraceptive coverage mandate to the plaintiffs furthers those compelling interests," underlying "to the plaintiffs" in the text. Nothing in Walton's order applied to anyone other than Tyndale.

Walton said that the government hasn't offered any proof that mandatory insurance for the specific types of contraceptives that Tyndale objects to furthers the government's compelling interests.

Matthew S. Bowman, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, which brought the suit on behalf of Tyndale, said in an email that Bible publishers "should be free to do business according to the book that they publish."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Federal Judge Grants Bible Publisher Injunction Against Obamacare’s Abortion Pill Mandate" by Heather Clark, Christian News Network 11/16/12

Mark D. Taylor, the president and CEO of Tyndale House Publishers, filed the lawsuit last month with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). While Taylor says that he does not oppose all contraception, and will provide coverage of some birth control products to his employees, he cannot cover the two pills that he believes cause abortions — Plan B and IUD’s.

“[Tyndale is] committed to biblical principles including the belief that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God from the moment of their conception,” the lawsuit read.

The Obama administration had opposed the injunction, claiming that the Bible publisher shouldn’t be considered eligible for an exemption because it is for-profit.

“Christian principles, prayer, and activities are pervasive at Tyndale, and the company’s ownership structure is designed to ensure that it never strays from its faith-oriented mission,” Walton declared today. “The Court has no reason to doubt, moreover, that Tyndale’s religious objection to providing insurance coverage for certain contraceptives reflects the beliefs of Tyndale’s owners. Nor is there any dispute that Tyndale’s primary owner, the Foundation, can ‘exercise religion’ in its own right, given that it is a non-profit religious organization; indeed, the case law is replete with examples of such organizations asserting cognizable free exercise and RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] challenges.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court Halts Contraceptive Mandate for Christian Publisher Tyndale" by Lillian Kwon, Christian Post Reporter 11/17/12

"Although there is arguably a public interest in the uniform application of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) and the contraceptive coverage mandate there is undoubtedly also a public interest in ensuring that the rights secured under the First Amendment and, by extension, the RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), are protected," the judge wrote in his opinion. "Indeed, First Amendment rights are among the most precious rights guaranteed under the Constitution."

The contraceptive coverage mandate became effective on Oct. 1, prompting Tyndale to file suit or otherwise face heavy fines and penalties for noncompliance.

Alliance Defending Freedom represented Tyndale in the case. ADF's Matt Bowman said the court did "the right thing" in halting the mandate while the lawsuit moves forward. ADF is also defending more than half a dozen other organizations in separate challenges against the contraceptive mandate

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "3rd judge vetoes abortion pill mandate" posted at World Net Daily 11/17/12

Officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom said [President Obama's] government attorneys had argued that Tyndale House Publishers simply wasn’t religious enough for an exemption from the mandate.

. . . Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, who argued before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Nov. 9 [said,] “. . . For the government to say that a Bible publisher is not religious is startling. It demonstrates how clearly the Obama administration is willing to disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom to achieve certain political purposes.”

The “mandate” is a set of regulations adopted by Barack Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services, run by the emphatically pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius, that forces employers, regardless of religious faith, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception under threat of financial penalties.

In the case involving Tyndale, the publisher is subject to the mandate because Obama administration rules say for-profit corporations are categorically non-religious, even though Tyndale House is strictly a publisher of Bibles and other Christian materials and is primarily owned by the non-profit Tyndale House Foundation. The foundation provides grants to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Bible Publisher Beats Obama Abortion-HHS Mandate in Court" by Steven Ertelt, 11/16/12

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating five other lawsuits against the mandate: one in Minnesota on behalf of Annex Medical, Inc.; one in Indiana on behalf of Grote Industries; another one in Indiana on behalf of Indiana’s Grace College and Seminary and California’s Biola University; one in Pennsylvania on behalf of Geneva College and The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company and its owners, the Hepler family; and one in Louisiana on behalf of Louisiana College. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.

Federal judges have dismissed two other lawsuits filed against the mandate.

In the second case, Judge James E. Boasberg of the D.C. Federal Court threw out the lawsuit Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, the first plaintiff to file suit against the mandate, filed earlier this year. Judge Boasberg said he dismissed the lawsuit because the Obama administration is revising the initial rule it release forcing religious groups to pay for the drugs that violate their conscience and beliefs.

Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic university, said before the decision he thought the Obama administrations argument will not stand up in court.

“It doesn’t argue that the mandate is legal; it doesn’t argue that the mandate is constitutional,” Goodrich said. “Instead, it begs the court to ignore the lawsuit because the government plans to change the mandate at some unspecified date in the future.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read President Obama Denies Leading War Against Christianity and also read Religious Liberty & Anti-Christian Totalitarianism