July 27, 2012
VICTORY: Private Company Wins Challenge to HHS Mandate
Becket Fund lawsuits on behalf of non-profit religious groups continue
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty announces that its lawsuits challenging the unlawful HHS mandate continue following today’s victory in another lawsuit, Newland v. Sebelius, brought on behalf of a for-profit company in Colorado, whose owners are religious.
In his ruling today, Judge John L. Kane Jr., a senior federal district judge (appointed by President Carter) in Colorado granted a preliminary injunction on behalf of a religious for-profit company challenging the HHS mandate. Granting the preliminary injunction prevents the federal government from applying the HHS mandate against the company.
“Judge Kane’s ruling today in favor of a religious for-profit plaintiff challenging the coercive HHS mandate got the law right. Religious liberty rights don’t stop at the store-front door,” said Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “This decision portends the demise of the current Administration’s attempts to drive religious activity from the public square and confine it within the four walls of a church.”
The Newland family – who owns and operates a for-profit company, Hercules Industries, a private HVAC equipment manufacturer – sued to protect its right to administer its self-insured employee plan for its 265 full-time employees in a way that comports with the family’s religious faith. Its employee health plan does not currently cover abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, or contraceptives, but would have been forced to do so beginning August 1st but for today’s ruling.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty led the charge filing the first lawsuits against the HHS mandate representing 5 clients: Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), Ave Maria University, and Wheaton College. There are currently over 20 lawsuits pending around the country against the HHS mandate.
The Newland family is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.349.7224.
(Photo courtesy of ADF)