Skip to comments.Federal Judge Calls Obamacare "Totally Ineffective" While Striking Down Contraception Mandate
Posted on 12/18/2013 7:36:44 AM PST by Gamecock
Yesterday, Judge Brian Cogan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, not only struck down Obamacare's contraception mandate as applied to religious non-profit organizations, but also sent a strong signal that federal courts were losing patience with President Obama's many stitches of executive power.
Previous courts had ruled against President Obama's contraception mandate as applied to for-profit entities (see Sebelius v Hobby Lobby), but this was the first court to hold that participating in Obama's scheme to provide free birth control is a substantial burden on the free practice of religion (specifically the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and its affiliate organizations).
The contraception mandate "directly compels plaintiffs, through the threat of onerous penalties, to undertake actions that their religion forbids," Cogan wrote. "There is no way that a court can, or should, determine that a coerced violation of conscience is of insufficient quantum to merit constitutional protection."
Cogan forcefully rejected three key Obama defenses of the mandate. First, on the government's claim that there was a compelling interest in uniform enforcement of the contraception mandate, Cogan wrote:
Tens of millions of people are exempt from the Mandate, under exemptions for grandfathered health plans, small businesses, and religious employers like the Diocesan plaintiffs here. Millions of women thus will not receive contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing through the Mandate. Having granted so many exemptions already, the Government cannot show a compelling interest in denying one to these plaintiffs.
Second, the court also rejected Obama's last minute claim that Obamacare's contraception mandate, as implemented for religious organizations, did not, in fact, mandate contraception:
Here, the Government implicitly acknowledges that applying the Mandate to plaintiffs may in fact do nothing at all to expand contraceptive coverage, because plaintiffs TPAs arent actually required to do anything after receiving the self-certification. In other words, the Mandate forces plaintiffs to fill out a form which, though it violates their religious beliefs, may ultimately serve no purpose whatsoever. A law that is totally ineffective cannot serve a compelling interest.
Finally, the court also rejected the government's argument that Obama's failure to convince Congress to "fix" Obamacare authorized him to enforce his contraception mandate in the manner he did:
Nor is the Mandate the least restrictive means by which the Government can improve public health and equalize womens access to healthcare. ... The Government could provide the contraceptive services or insurance coverage directly to plaintiffs employees, or work with third parties be it insurers, health care providers, drug manufacturers, or non-profits to do so without requiring plaintiffs active participation.
The Government first argues that the alternatives above are infeasible because the defendants lack statutory authority to enact some of them. This argument makes no sense; in any challenge to the constitutionality of a federal law, the question is whether the federal government could adopt a less restrictive means, not any particular branch within it. It would set a dangerous precedent to hold that if the Executive Branch cannot act unilaterally, then there is no alternative solution. If defendants lack the required statutory authority, Congress may pass appropriate legislation.
Considering how often Obama has justified his expansion of executive power on Congress' failure to do his bidding, yesterday's ruling was not only a huge victory for religious liberty, but a huge win for limited government in all spheres as well.
Let’s see if it sticks.
“There is no way that a court can, or should, determine that a coerced violation of conscience is of insufficient quantum to merit constitutional protection.”
Gotta read that one twice, maybe three times. Thankful for the outcome, though. Nice, huh? Now we get to be thankful for the merciful application of that which we already had.
Welcome to 0bamica.
How many divisions does the judge command?
Hope he’s got a good tax attorney
Thought you’d dodged this one, eh, Johnny Roberts old boy?
Well if Congress wo.won’t take him to task in losing their authority , maybe the judicial branch will. Except Traitor Roberts of course.
Just like this great analogy, ObamaFlowers that I got in an email. Pass it on everyone~
Obama Flowers - Have you ordered yours yet?
(Receptionist) Hello, Welcome to ObamaFlowers, My name is Trina. How can I help you?
(Customer) Hello, I received an email from Professional Flowers stating that my flower order has been canceled and I should go to your exchange to reorder it. I tried your website, but it seems like it is not working. So I am calling the 800 number.
(Receptionist) Yes, I am sorry about the website. It should be fixed by the end of November or maybe December. But I can help you.
(Customer) Thanks, I ordered a “Spring Bouquet” for our anniversary, and wanted it delivered to my wife.
(Receptionist Interrupting) Sir, “Spring Bouquets” do not meet our minimum standards, I will be happy to provide you with Red Roses.
(Customer) But I have always ordered “Spring Bouquets”, done it for years, my wife likes them.
(Receptionist) Roses are better, sir. I am sure your wife will love them.
(Customer) Well, how much are they?
(Receptionist) It depends sir, do you want our Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum package.
(Customer) What’s the difference?
(Receptionist) 6, 12,18 or 24 Red Roses.
(Customer) The Silver package may be okay, how much is it?
(Receptionist) It depends sir, what is you monthly income?
(Customer) What does that have to do with anything?
(Receptionist) I need that to determine your government flower subsidy, then I can determine how much your out of pocket cost will be. But if your income is below our minimums for a subsidy, then I can refer you to our FlowerAid department.
(Receptionist) Yes, Flowers are a Right, everyone has a right to flowers. So, if you can’t afford them, then the government will supply them free of charge.
(Customer) Who said they were a Right?
(Receptionist) Congress passed it, the President signed it and the Supreme Court found it Constitutional.
(Customer) Whoa.....I don’t remember seeing anything in the Constitution regarding Flowers as a Right.
(Receptionist) It is not really a Right in the Constitution, but ObamaFlowers is Constitutional because the Supreme Court Ruled it a “Tax”. Taxes are Constitutional. But we feel it is a Right.
(Customer) I don’t believe this...
(Receptionist) It’s the law of the land sir. Now, we anticipated most people would go for the Silver Package, so what is you monthly income sir?
(Customer) Forget it, I think I will forgo the flowers this year.
(Receptionist) In that case sir, I will still need your monthly income.
(Receptionist) To determine what your ‘non-participation’ cost would be.
(Customer) WHAT? Your can’t charge me for NOT buying flowers!
(Receptionist) It’s the law of the land, sir, approved by the Supreme Court. It’s $9.50 or 1% of your monthly income.....
(Customer)interrupting) This is ridiculous, I’ll pay the $9.50..
(Receptionist) Sir, it is the $9.50 or 1% of your monthly income, whichever is greater.
(Customer) ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What a ripoff!!
(Receptionist) Actually sir, it is a good deal. Next year it will be 2%.
(Customer) Look, I’m going to call my Congressman to find out what’s going on here. This is ridiculous. I’m not going to pay it.
(Receptionist) Sorry to hear that sir, that’s why I had the NSA track this call and obtain the make and model of the cell phone your are using.
(Customer) Why does the NSA need to know what kind of CELL PHONE I AM USING?
(Receptionist) So they get your GPS coordinates sir
(Door Bell rings followed immediately by a loud knock on the door)
(Receptionist) That would be the IRS sir. Thanks for calling ObamaFlowers, have a nice day...and God Bless America.
LOL They could’ve just said ‘forcing someone to violate their faith is obviously unconstitutional’.
Santa Claus came early...
Yeah, it’s ineffective and useless too:
Why would anybody want to buy this junk.