Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Catholic Education Daily

 

HHS Mandate Lawsuits Headed to U.S. Supreme Court

Questions about the constitutionality of the HHS mandate for insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception may finally be reaching the highest court in the land.

Two lawsuits contesting the HHS contraceptive mandate were appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. Both concern the rights of private businesses.

The Obama administration is now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to force the Christian owners of Hobby Lobby to provide and pay for insurance that covers contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilization procedures. The 250 plus-page appeal was filed yesterday by U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli.

“The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby in this matter. “We’re confident that the Supreme Court will reject the government’s extreme position and hold that religious liberty is for everyone—including people who run a business.”

Last June, the en banc 10th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Hobby Lobby.

Not so for Conestoga Wood, owned by the Mennonite Hahn family, which lost in U.S. District Court as well as in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom, which has been providing important counsel to The Cardinal Newman Society and faithful Catholic colleges, have appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Attorney for Conestoga Wood, Randall Wenger, told the Central Penn Business Journal that lawsuits brought against the HHS mandate have had astounding success in the courts, with a record of 30-5.

There have been dozens of lawsuits filed against the HHS mandate, including many by Catholic colleges which are also not exempt from the mandates, according to the finalized rule. Although most were dismissed because of timeliness, Ave Maria University re-filed its case last month.

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.

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