Ave Maria President: HHS Mandate Threatens Millions in Fines, Harms Faculty, Drains Resources and Endangers Future
Court declaration filed today details excessive “burdens and pressures” for fragile institution
Washington, DC – As a decision looms in Ave Maria University’s lawsuit against the Obama Administration over the Health & Human Services (HHS) mandate, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty today filed a declaration in federal court on behalf of the university’s president, Jim Towey, detailing the excessive “burdens and pressures” that are preventing the school from filling essential faculty positions.
Those pressures include threatened fines in excess of $17 million dollars and the threat of private lawsuits against the University Burdens of that nature will be devastating to Ave Maria, a “fragile institution” that does not have unlimited financial resources or a wealthy endowment, Towey explains.
Faced with the government’s threat to violate its Catholic principles, Ave Maria University is going on the offensive, detailing to the court how the looming decision could lead to reductions in academic programming, changes in hiring patterns, or increases in tuition.
“The burdens and pressures created by additional waiting are numerous,” says Towey, and “will cause immense harm to the institution, its employees, and programs.” Mr. Towey is President of Ave Maria University and former director of President Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
There are now 40 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).
The Becket Fund has led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate, and along with Ave Maria, represents: Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Wheaton College, Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, and the Eternal Word Television Network.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest legal and educational institute that protects the free expression of all faiths. The Becket Fund exists to vindicate a simple but frequently negated principle: that because the religious impulse is natural to human beings, religious expressional is natural to human culture.