L. Brent Bozell III, founder and president of the Media Research Center (MRC) and a member of The Cardinal Newman Society board of directors, has announced a unique lawsuit seeking protection from the HHS Mandate.
In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, MRC is the first organization to affirm its "self-certification" as an exempt organization based upon its Judeo-Christian beliefs.
The federal government currently exempts churches from the HHS mandate that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization. The government also allows for an exemption for “eligible organizations” through a self-certification process. A nonprofit organization may self-certify that it opposes provisions of the mandate on religious grounds and hold itself out as a religious organization.
Bozell pointed to MRC’s work for nearly three decades of defending pro-life views and Judeo-Christian values from attacks in the liberal media as evidence of the organization’s religious mission. “The HHS mandate destroys the right to practice one’s faith and forces individuals and organizations to reject their faith or face crippling government imposed fines and punishment,” said Bozell. “If Americans can’t exercise their religious freedom under Obamacare, the results will be disastrous.”
If MRC is not exempt, it faces exorbitant fines totaling more than $4 million per year, Bozell said.
“We were hoping that, by now, reasonable minds within the government would have prevailed on this issue,” wrote Bozell. “But sadly this has not happened, so now we have no choice but to undertake this lawsuit. By challenging this mandate, we join the growing chorus of organizations which are resisting this unjust and pernicious law.”
“Now is the time for all of us to stand up and be counted,” Bozell said. “The mandate is not merely another onerous regulation or tax burden. It’s an attack on the Constitution, civil society and the principles of freedom which both cultural conservatives and libertarians must unite to defeat.”
MRC filed a motion for preliminary injunction, and a hearing is scheduled for June 6.
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