Timing is everything. Once again, the federal government has been successful in having a lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that it is not ripe for review as the Obama administration has, once again, waved a promise to issue new regulations to accommodate religious objections to the HHS mandate.
The Christian university, which was the first inter-denominational college to file suit against the HHS mandate, falls under the safe harbor provision which reportedly delays enforcement of the mandate against it until next year. When the University filed the lawsuit, CCU President Bill Armstrong called the HHS mandate an “unparalleled attack” on religious freedom.
Eric Baxter, an attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty which is representing the University, told The Cardinal Newman Society that CCU is still considering its options for an appeal. But there’s a precedent for hope as Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic college in North Carolina, saw its lawsuit dismissed on similar grounds last year but recently an appellate court reinstated the case.
Baxter did add, however, that the “burden is now on the government to come up with a rule that will relieve the burden on religious freedom as they have promised to do.”
Reportedly, the government has indicated that there will be some announcement about that in March. “We remain skeptical,” said Baxter. “But now we wait to see what the government does.”
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