Individual Mandate Survives–Religious Liberty Challenges Move Forward

Image: Individual Mandate Survives–Religious Liberty Challenges Move Forward

Supreme Court decision leaves religious liberty in jeopardy. Becket Fund fights on. 

For Immediate Release: June 28, 2012
Contact:  Emily Hardman, 202.349.7224 

 WASHINGTON, DC – The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty announces that its lawsuits challenging the controversial HHS mandate will continue in light of today’s Supreme Court decision.  In its opinion, the Supreme Court rejected claims challenging the individual mandate, leaving the Affordable Care Act intact and allowing religious-liberty lawsuits against the HHS Mandate to proceed.

“The court’s opinion today did not decide the issues in our cases,” said Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.  “We are challenging the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on religious liberty grounds which are not part of today’s decision.  We will move forward seeking vindication of our client’s First Amendment rights.”

The Court’s decision leaves untouched the controversial HHS mandate, a regulation based on other provisions of the Affordable Care Act that the Court was not asked to review in this case.  The mandate compels employers to provide drugs and services in their employee health care plans regardless of religious objections to those services.  Employers who fail to comply face staggering financial penalties.

“The Becket Fund’s religious liberty lawsuits against the unconstitutional HHS mandate will continue,” said Smith. “Never in history has there been a mandate forcing individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine, a fine which could force many homeless shelters, charities, and religious institutions to shut their doors.”

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty led the charge against the HHS mandate, representing 4 separate clients: Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), and Ave Maria University. There are currently 23 lawsuits pending in 14 states and the District of Columbia against the HHS mandate.

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 an 18-year history defending religious liberty for people of all faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of church-state law and recently won a 9-0 victory at the U.S. Supreme Court 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 ehardman@becketfund.org or call 202.349.7224.

 

Additional Information:
Supreme Court Opinion on Affordable Care Act
Becket Fund’s HHS Challenge
HHS Information Central
FAQ
How the Supreme Court Decision Affects the HHS Mandate Infographic

Scroll over the dots to learn more about each case, and visit HHS Information Central to learn more about the HHS mandate.