Skip to comments.Court: Govít Must Halt Sterilization-Contraception-Abortifacient Mandate Against Hobby Lobby
Posted on 06/29/2013 7:42:19 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Following on yesterdays 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Hobby Lobby can continue its lawsuit against the Obama administrations contraception mandate on religious grounds, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled today that the federal government must halt all enforcement of the mandate (and related financial penalties) against the Christian-based company.
Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel are suing the Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, arguing that to force the company to pay for health insurance that must offer abortion-inducing drugs, as well as sterilization and contraception, is a violation of its religious liberty.
In his order issued on Friday, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton said the court concludes plaintiffs [Hobby Lobby] have made a sufficient showing to warrant the issuance of a temporary restraining order in the circumstances existing here."
"Accordingly, the defendants [Sebelius and HHS], their agents, officers, and employees are temporarily ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from any effort to apply or enforce, as to plaintiffs, the substantive requirements imposed by the mandate," said the judge's order.
In a press release, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby, said, Today, for the first time, a federal court has ordered the government not to enforce the HHS abortion-drug mandate against Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The ruling comes just one day after a dramatic 168-page opinion from the en banc 10th Circuit recognizing that business owners have religious liberty rights. This was the first definitive federal appellate ruling against the HHS mandate.
Hobby Lobby and the Green family faced the terrible choice of violating their faith or paying massive fines starting this Monday morning, said Kyle Duncan, general counsel with the Becket Fund. We are delighted that both the 10th Circuit and the district court have spared them from this unjust burden on their religious freedom.
In its landmark opinion yesterday, the 10th Circuit majority found that no one not even the government disputes the sincerity of Hobby Lobbys religious beliefs, reads the press release. The court ruled that denying them the protection of federal law just because they are a profit-making business would conflict with the Supreme Courts free exercise precedent.
Further proceedings in the case are scheduled for July 19, 2013, in Oklahoma City.
This is a no brainer. It smacks up against the first sentence of the 1st Amendment. This is one of the 10 reasons for the first revolution.
When does the “temporary” order become “permanent”,
I.e. what next step legal-wise would be taken to stop 0 care from being enforced on hobby lobby?
The injunction is just a stop-gap to keep things at status quo until the main case is won or lost. At that point, assuming they win, the hhs mandate ceases to be enforceable, and everything goes back to the status quo before the conflict.
This attempt to assert their rights will fail when it reaches the Supreme Court. Everybody knows it. Hobby Lobby will be fined out of existence. As for the Catholic Church, my bet is that they will find some way of complying wrapped up in many obfuscating words.
Let’s hope the boots don’t come off this ruling - Mr. Executive Order has no record of obeying the law.
To throw this out at SCOTUS would require 5 justices to completely reject current evolution of First Amendment precedent, a total reset. It is remotely possible, but only because the Court *may* not be making its decisions independently, due to backchannel manipulation. However, even with that wildcard, the break with precedent would be so shattering it would throw the courts into chaos. Predictability of outcomes is the glue that keeps the system working even remotely well. Take that away, and its a judicial apocalypse. I don’t think its time yet for our would be overlords to try that. There are too many intermediate goals not yet met. And the justices will not go there willingly. If this were to be decided truly independently, Hobby Lobby would win 7 to 2, no problem.
I'm sure they could come up with some sideways approach to avoiding the issue, giving our Elites their victory by default. You know, emanations, no standing, it's tax not a fine, etc.
Not really. This is classic, undeniable injury to specific individuals, based on an unambiguous denial of an unambiguous constitutionally guaranteed right. There are no easy sidesteps. Again, any such deflection would be so severely against custom and precedent it would necessary trigger a massive jurisprudential earthquake. Not that that is impossible. But for reasons already stated, I think it is unlikely.
Besides, if the so-called “elites” really had unlimited power, or could never lose a fight, all we who love and practice freedom would have been gone centuries ago. There is a God in Heaven, and he’s going to keep the fight fair. We just need to stay in it.