Tuesday, August 19, 2014

About  Contact  Join  Donate


Catholic Education Daily

 

Federal Judge Tosses HHS Mandate Lawsuits

In a blow to religious liberty, a federal judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit in which Nebraska and six other states along with a number of other plaintiffs tried to block part of the federal health care law that requires contraception coverage.

But Emily Hardman of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty told The Cardinal Newman Society that this ruling does not affect other cases brought against the HHS mandate by the Becket Fund, with plaintiffs including Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, Ave Maria University, and EWTN. “This ruling is completely irrelevant to our cases,” said Hardman.

U.S. District Judge Warren Urbom of Lincoln dismissed the case Tuesday, saying among other reasons that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the action challenging the HHS mandate because it hadn’t gone into effect yet.

“Today’s decision completely disregards the federal government’s continued shell game when it comes to this rule,”  Attorney General Jon Bruning told The Journal Star. “Essentially, this decision asks millions of Americans to watch and wait for their religious liberties to be violated. Obviously, we’re disappointed with the ruling, and we will consult with our co-plaintiffs to assess our next steps.”

Co-plaintiffs include Pius X Catholic High School, Catholic Social Services, The Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America and private citizens Stacy Molai and Sister Mary Catherine, CK, according to a statement by Bruning’s office.

“This regulation forces millions of Americans to choose between following religious convictions and complying with federal law,” Bruning reportedly said in February.  “This violation of the 1st Amendment is a threat to every American, regardless of religious faith. We will not stand idly by while our constitutionally-guaranteed liberties are discarded by an administration that has sworn to uphold them.”

But Judge Urbom, a Nixon appointee, sided with the U.S. Justice Department because he said the mandate hasn’t gone into effect yet so there aren’t any damages as of yet.

“Although the rule that lies at the heart of the plaintiffs’ complaint establishes a definitive, final definition of ‘religious employer,’ the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirements are not being enforced against non-exempted religious organizations, and the rule is currently undergoing a process of amendment to accommodate these organizations,” Urbom said.”The plaintiffs face no direct and immediate harm, and one can only speculate whether the plaintiffs will ever feel any effects from the rule when the temporary enforcement safe harbor terminates. This case clearly involves ‘contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all,’ … and therefore it is not ripe for review.

Updates to follow…

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Renewal Report

Departments

Minimize

Latest Featured

Catholic Is Our Core

Maximize

More News Categories

Maximize

Subscribe

Minimize

Join Us

Join thousands of Catholic families and individuals standing with The Cardinal Newman Society for faithful Catholic education. Members receive news roundups by email, about weekly.

Start your no-cost membership now!

Minimize

Donate

Our work is possible only through the generosity of countless supporters who share our mission. We have promoted and defended faithful Catholic education for 20 years! Please support our successful work by making a donation today.

Minimize

Stay Connected

Keep up with the latest developments by joining our social media networks:

Facebook

Twitter

Google Plus

Linkedin

Connect on Facebook

Maximize

Links to News Sites

Maximize

Links to Blog Sites

Catholic Identity Concerns|Faith in Education|From the Bishops and Vatican|Religious Freedom | Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement
Copyright 2014 by Cardinal Newman Society -- 9720 Capital Ct., Ste. 201, Manassas, VA 20110