Alabama Joins Becket Fund’s Fight Against Unconstitutional HHS Mandate

Image: Alabama Joins Becket Fund’s Fight Against Unconstitutional HHS Mandate

Attorney General Allies with Nun’s Network to Defend Religious Liberty

For Immediate Release: March 22, 2012
Contact: Emily Hardman, 202.349.7224

Washington, DC – Today, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange moved to join the Becket Fund’s  lawsuit on behalf of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), against the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional mandate that forces religious employers to provide health coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion drugs in violation of their faith.

“We welcome Alabama as a crucial ally in this fight, “ said Kyle Duncan, the Becket Fund’s General Counsel and lead attorney for EWTN.  “Their participation reveals another glaring problem with the mandate: not only does the mandate threaten religious freedom, but it also impairs Alabama’s ability to protect its own citizens’ rights.”

Attorney General Strange filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit on the grounds that the mandate forces Alabama to regulate its health insurance market in a way that violates both the U.S. Constitution and the Alabama Constitution.   “Alabama law does not allow anyone to be forced to offer a product that is against his or her religious beliefs or conscience” said Strange.

“We are grateful to Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange for taking such a strong stand on this issue,” said EWTN President and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “The state could simply have chosen to file a brief advising the court of the impact of the case on its citizens.  Instead, it is intervening in the suit as a co-plaintiff with EWTN. The Attorney General is saying, in effect, that this unjust, unconstitutional mandate hurts not only EWTN, but the entire community.”

The intervention arises in the fourth legal challenge brought by the Becket Fund against the Obama administration’s abortion drug mandate.  The Becket Fund also represents Belmont Abbey College (a Catholic Benedictine college in North Carolina), Colorado Christian University (a nondenominational Christian University in Colorado), and Ave Maria University (a Catholic College in Florida) in similar lawsuits.  To date, the government has only sought to postpone hearing the Becket Fund’s claims.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty  is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The Becket Fund has a 17-year history of defending religious liberty for people of all faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of church-state law, and they recently won a 9-0 victory against the federal government at the U.S. Supreme Court in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, Communications Director, at ehardman@becketfund.org or call 202.349.7224.

A press conference call with Attorney General, Luther Strange, EWTN’s General Counsel, John B. Manos, and Becket Fund’s General Counsel, Kyle Duncan, will take place Thursday, March 22, 2012, 11:30am eastern /10:30 central.  All press welcome to participate.  Call 800.704.9804, code 743216#.

 

Additional Information:

Case Page
Alabama’s Complaint
Alabama’s Motion to Intervene