Skip to comments.Seventh Circuit Blocks HHS Mandate for Private Business (Disses 10th Circuit "Hobby Lobby" Decision)
Posted on 12/30/2012 11:00:34 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o
Late yesterday afternoon, the Seventh Circuit granted an emergency injunction against the HHS mandate preventing its enforcement against an Illinois business and its owners. My colleagues at the ACLJ represent Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., a family-owned, full-service construction contractor. The company is located in Highland, Ill., and employs about 90 workers.
The brief opinion is worth a read in its entirety, but two parts stand out. First, the court disagreed with the Tenth Circuits recent decision rejecting Hobby Lobbys request for a similar injunction. In a key paragraph the court stated:
The government also argues that any burden on religious exercise is minimal and attenuated, relying on a recent decision by the Tenth Circuit in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 12‐6294 (10th Cir. Dec. 20, 2012). Hobby Lobby, like this case, involves a claim for injunctive and declaratory relief against the mandate brought by a secular, for‐profit employer. On an interlocutory appeal from the district courts denial of a preliminary injunction, the Tenth Circuit denied an injunction pending appeal, noting that the particular burden of which plaintiffs complain is that funds, which plaintiffs will contribute to a group health plan, might, after a series of independent decisions by health care providers and patients covered by [the corporate] plan, subsidize someone elses participation in an activity condemned by plaintiff[s] religion. Id. at 7 (quoting Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, 870 F. Supp. 2d 1278, 1294 (W.D. Okla. 2012)). With respect, we think this misunderstands the substance of the claim. The religious‐liberty violation at issue here inheres in the coerced coverage of contraception, abortifacients, sterilization, and related services, notor perhaps more precisely, not onlyin the later purchase or use of contraception or related services. This is exactly right. The mandated coverage exists regardless of the actions or activities of the individual employees and it is the mandate that violates the religious liberty of the employer.
Second, the court distinguished Justice Sotomayors recent decision not to grant Hobby Lobby emergency relief, rightly noting that Justice Sotomayor applied a much different standard:
But the demanding standard for issuance of an extraordinary writ by the Supreme Court . . . differs significantly from the standard applicable to a motion for a stay or injunction pending appeal in this court. As Justice Sotomayor noted, the entitlement to relief must be indisputably clear.
As we begin the new year, we at the ACLJ are exceedingly thankful that each of our for-profit clients has now obtained an injunction against the mandate. Their most fundamental rights to religious liberty enjoy the protection of federal court, at least for now. There is much work left to be done, and a Supreme Court battle looms in 2013.
This is the same Court which recently found Illinois laws against concealed carry of a firearm un-Constitutional.
And now that there are two diametrically opposed decisions the full SCOTUS will have to deal with this, God help us.
Unfortunately, this battle was fought and lost during the civil rights era, when privately owned businesses lost the right to discriminate based on race. For example, a wedding chapel could not refuse to wed an interracial couple.
As offensive as racial discrimination is, one has to tolerate bad choices and beliefs in a free country. A truly free and moral people will ultimately make the right choices. For example, the racist wedding chapel would have eventually been driven out of business, but we foolishly empowered government to stamp out liberty, i.e. freedom of association, religious liberty, private property rights, etc., to defeat discrimination.
We violated the adage that two wrongs don’t make a right, albeit for a worthy cause. The cure, unfortunately, is turning out worse than the disease, because now the government can pretty much tell us to do whatever it wants.
Think free contraception is bad? Wait until the full force of the federal government comes down in favor of homosexuality. Public dissent, i.e. liberty, will be squashed using the exact same arguments as the civil rights era.
Justice Roberts has a whole lot of work to do to try and clean up his inexcusable mess. Hopefully he realizes how badly he screwed up, assuming Congress would be able to take care of it for him. He owes this country some heroic decisions in defense of liberty.
There’s nothing wrong with having laws based on civil rights. The problem is that liberals use the liberal courts to expand the coverage of these laws to make everything under the sun a civil right.
>> “Justice Roberts has a whole lot of work to do to try and clean up his inexcusable mess.” <<
Roberts was threatened by Obama with the immediate loss of his children. Do you think that threat has evaporated?
He will continue to toe the line, because he knows that he has no alternative.
The problem with some of the civil rights legislation is that government usurped my property rights and right of freedom of association. This was done under the guise of inventing a new right, the “public accommodation”, which cannot be found in the Constitution in Exile.
If I were to engage in certain types of businesses, if I accept any customers, I have to accept all customers. This is fundamentally contrary to liberty, and the gay lobby is happy to rub this in my face when they have the opportunity.
“Roberts was threatened by Obama with the immediate loss of his children.”
Can someone elaborate on this a bit or post links?
There were two NYT articles posted here on this, I think in June.
That is news to me as well. If you can find them I would be extremely grateful.
I would like to see some evidence of this as well...regardless of the reasons Roberts can’t be counted on to take a narrow interpretation of the constitution
I am not optimistic on the eventual outcome of this case once it hits the SCOTUS. Roe V Wade made reproductive rights a staple of the constitution ( despite the fictitious nature of the right to privacy) The “right” to “health care” and by default contraception will trump religious freedom. I will pray every day that I am wrong.
Unfortunately, I don’t trust the Supreme Court to issue the right decision in this Obamacare case, since they issued the wrong decision in the first one.
‘A truly free and moral people will ultimately make the right choices.’
Are you kidding me??? What world do you live in???? Man is fallen and sinful and left to his (their) own devices will always tend towards evil.
If you think that allowing bigotry and discrimination against another human being shows our freedom you are more than sadly mistaken.
Nifster: “If you think that allowing bigotry and discrimination against another human being shows our freedom you are more than sadly mistaken.”
The state, i.e. government, most certainly must not be allowed to discriminate against humans based on factors such as skin color. Equal treatment under the law is a fundamental freedom of a free and moral society. Forcing private citizens to show no discrimination is a Pandora’s box. Like I wrote, the purpose seems noble, but it gives government broad and fearful powers to oppress people. These laws are going to be used (ARE being used) to force people to sacrifice the freedom of association, private property rights, and religious liberty.
Nifster: “Man is fallen and sinful and left to his (their) own devices will always tend towards evil.”
That opinion is diametrically opposed to liberty. The country’s founders believed in the God-given rights of We the People. You seem to think we need some all-powerful, secular sovereign. How else can we restrain the evil impulses of free men except to oppress them? Right?
Actually, the right-to-privacy argument underlying Roe can easily be turned around and used against the government in the HHS mandate. If it violates “privacy” for the government to forbid access to contraception, it violates it just as much for the government to compel some third party to provide it under force of law.