Biden’s Remarks Debunked as Catholic Institutions and 13 States File Amicus Briefs Opposing HHS Mandate before DC Circuit Court of Appeals
Details severe burdens mandate inflicts on religious institutions
Washington, DC — Today, some of the leading Catholic institutions in the United States are filing a brief in support of the Becket Fund’s appeal to the D.C. Circuit on behalf of Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College in their challenges to the HHS mandate. The filing by the The Catholic University of America, The Catholic Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., details the severe burdens inflicted by the unconstitutional command that they insure free contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. These great institutions—which educate, feed, clothe, and serve millions—must plan now for the mandate’s millions of dollars in fines, crippling their budgeting, planning and hiring. They urge the courts to act now to address this flagrant violation of religious liberty.
The brief of these venerable Catholic organizations comes less than one day after the Vice President of the United States stated in his debate with Congressman Paul Ryan:
“[L]et me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer for contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”
“But the facts are exactly the reverse,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Under the mandate, nearly every Catholic hospital, charity, university, and diocese in the United States—along with millions of institutions of other faiths—must refer for, must pay for, and must act as a vehicle for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. If they do not, they face millions in fines. That is a fact.”
The Catholic institutions are not alone in supporting the Becket Fund’s appeal. Briefs supporting Wheaton and Belmont Abbey are being filed today on behalf of:
- 13 States (Texas, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, Colorado, South Carolina, and Idaho)
- The Catholic University of America, The Catholic Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
- Women Speak for Themselves
- The Cato Institute, the American Civil Rights Union, and the Chapman University Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
- The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Catholic Medical Association, The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Physicians for Life, and the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses
- Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, Patrick Henry College, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic of the Anglican Church in North America, Queens Federation of Churches, National Association of Evangelicals, Association of Christian Schools International, Christian Medical Association, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Prison Fellowship Ministries, Association of Rescue Gospel Missions and Christian Legal Society
- Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund
- The American Center for Law and Justice, and Regent University
- Alliance Defending Freedom–Universities and Businesses
There are now over 35 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).
The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate, and in addition to Wheaton and Belmont Abbey represents: East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Hobby Lobby, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, and Ave Maria University.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 18 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. The Becket Fund recently won a 9-0 victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”
For more information, or to arrange an interview with one of the attorneys, please contact Emily Hardman, Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.349.7224.
All Amicus Briefs in Wheaton/BAC appeal included above
Becket Fund’s Appeal Brief (October 5, 2012)
Briefing Schedule – U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
Wheaton College Case Page (Legal Documents, Resources, FAQ’s)
Belmont Abbey College Case Page (Legal Documents, Resources, FAQ’s)
HHS Information Central (all 30 HHS cases, interactive map, resources, legal documents, FAQ’s, and more)