Federal Court: Government Can’t Enforce Sterilization-Contraception-Abortifacient Mandate Against Hobby Lobby

Court Injunction: Gov’t Can’t Enforce Sterilization-Contraception-Abortifacient Mandate Against Hobby Lobby – CNS

A federal district court has granted Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a preliminary injunction that prevents the federal government from enforcing its Obamacare mandate that the Christian company carry health insurance that offers contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs free of charge.

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Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel are suing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 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.

“The tide has turned against the HHS mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and lead attorney for Hobby Lobby.

In an opinion read from the bench, the court today said, “There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that no individual or corporation has their legs cut out from under them while these difficult issues are resolved.”

In a press release, the Becket Fund said, “This is a major victory for not only Hobby Lobby but the religious liberty of all for-profit businesses.”

As the injunction stands now and as case moves forward in the courts, Hobby Lobby will not have to comply with the Obamacare mandate or pay any financial penalties related to non-compliance.

“Today the abortion-pill mandate took another blow,” said Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association. “The courts have once again ruled that family business owners like the Green family of Hobby Lobby do not have to violate their consciences to enter the marketplace. We hope that other courts follow suit and restore religious liberty to all employers. And we hope that the Obama administration finally gets the message that the abortion-pill mandate is a blatant infringement on First Amendment rights and religious freedom.”

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Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Vile Obamacare Abortion Mandate In Hobby Lobby Case

Court Opposes Obama On Abortion Mandate – WorldNetDaily

A federal appeals court in Denver has ruled against the Obamacare abortion mandate that forces religious business owners to violate their beliefs by paying for abortifacients.

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The ruling from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the case returned to the district court level for swift resolution of the request by the owners of Hobby Lobby for an injunction until the dispute fully is resolved.

The district court previously refused to allow the injunction, and even Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor told the company owners to start paying for abortifacients for their employees, in direct violation of their faith.

However, the 10th Circuit took the case with the unusual step that the full court would hear the arguments rather than a three-judge panel.

In their decision, the court said Hobby Lobby has “established a likelihood of success that their rights under this statute are substantially burdened by the contraceptive-coverage requirement, and have established an irreparable harm.”

The case is just one of more than five dozen pending in U.S. courts now challenging Obama’s demand that employers pay for abortifacients for their employee regardless of their religious faith and beliefs.

A five-judge majority on the court said the mandate creates a substantial burden, because if the owners do not comply with Obama’s demands, based on their religious beliefs, they would be subjected to millions of dollars in fines annually.

The judges also said the government did not satisfy the requirement to show that any burden on the religious exercise of the plaintiffs was overridden by some “compelling” government interest or that it was imposed in the least intrusive way possible.

The court pointedly noted that Obama’s administration already has exempted “tens of millions of people” from the same mandate, so to do so for Hobby Lobby hardly would create an impact.

The American Center for Law and Justice was one of the dozens of organizations that filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the dispute.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case, especially because the 10th Circuit majority tracks the arguments we presented,” the group said. ” …These are the same arguments we have presented in the other mandate cases in which we are involved.”

The Green family, owners of the chain of hundreds of stores in 40 states, said, through the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, they are optimistic.

“My family and I believe very strongly in our conviction that life begins at conception, and the emergency contraceptives that we would be forced to provide in our employee health plan under this mandate are contrary to that conviction,” said David Green, founder. “We believe that business owners should not have to be forced to choose between following their faith and following the law.”

Hobby Lobby is the largest business so far to file a lawsuit against the Health and Human Services mandate under Obamacare. But it is just one of many plaintiffs who make up more than 60 lawsuits launched already.

Other plaintiffs include Colorado Christian University, Ave Maria University and Wheaton College of Illinois.

“We hold that Hobby Lobby and Mardel [a related company] are entitled to bring claims under [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act], have established a likelihood of success that their rights under this statute are substantially burdened by the contraceptive-coverage requirement, and have established an irreparable harm.”

The 165-page opinion said Hobby Lobby has standing to sue, and the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply. The opinion also said the majority holds that the district court erred in finding that Hobby Lobby had not demonstrated a likelihood of success.

The judges noted that the company owners established their work on Christian principles and continue to run them that way, refusing to open on Sundays or engage in business activities that promote alcohol use.

The company also buys newspaper ads inviting people to “know Jesus as Lord and Savior.”

The court noted that the law allows exemptions to Obamacare for religious employers, but religious for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby were deliberately targeted for the requirement.

“The plaintiffs assert that because more than 13,000 individuals are insured under the Hobby Lobby plan… [Obamacare fines] would total at least $1.3 million per day, or almost $475 million per year.”

The fines, combined with the fact the government was unable to show it had narrowly tailored the requirement, means the government’s argument must fail, the court said.

“In addition, the Supreme Court has settled that individuals have Free Exercise rights with respect to their for-profit businesses… In short, individuals may incorporate for religious purposes and keep the Free Exercise rights, and unincorporated individuals may pursue profit while keeping their Free Exercise rights.”

The court said the government has the idea that when individuals incorporate but are not tax-exempt under the IRS code, “Free Exercise rights somehow disappear.”

But the judges said religious expression and religious conduct can be communicated by individuals and for-profit corporations alike.

Several other district judges have ordered that the abortion mandate not be enforced against individual companies until the dispute is resolved, but the government is appealing the decisions.

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Please support Hobby Lobby

This is a company that is standing up for their rights against a growing tyranny. They deserve our support!

Hobby Lobby CEO David Green:

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God‘s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby – and my family – are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

Look, I will put it very simply, if we do not support them now, it will be us next!

 

Can we save companies like Hobby Lobby from Obamacare?

Hobby Lobby is a company run by Christians, and has vowed to not go along with parts of Obamacare

The owners of Hobby Lobby say they must remain true to their faith, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to block the Obamacare contraception mandate.

Their attorney said the company will not provide the morning-after and week-after pills in its employee insurance plan when the health care mandate takes effect Jan. 1.

“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” attorney Kyle Duncan said in a statement posted on Hobby Lobby’s website. 

“To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs,” he said.

Hobby Lobby risks fines of more than a million dollars a day for ignoring the Obamacare mandate.

Let that sink in folks. The government will eventually bankrupt a corporation for not violating the deeply held faith of its owners. Freedom of religion? Not any more apparently. The Democrats, of course, tell us they are the “Party of  Working Americans”. Really? How will the war on Hobby Lobby, and other companies owned by people of faith serve those working for those companies? How will the death of Hobby Lobby benefit those working Americans? Or perhaps the Democrats are fine with more unemployed Americans. Maybe to them that just means more of us dependent on government, which seems to be the goal of the Democrats. The more dependency on government, the greater the chance Democrats will dominate the political power in America. And, yes, power is more important to the Left than putting the country first.

This video, via The Right Scoop features Michelle Malkin talking about both the fiscal cliff and Hobby Lobby.

Michelle raises the point that we must stand with Hobby Lobby. A point I agree with entirely. But, if Hobby Lobby is being fined $1.3 million dollars a day, can we shop there enough to keep them afloat? The real issue with Hobby Lobby is this. They are not a company that will play ball with Team Obama. Companies that do play ball have received waivers from Obamacare. Now we are told these waivers are only temporary, but really, can we trust this administration to be honest about  that? This is the biggest issue here in the end. This administration, and likely future Democratic administrations will continue to play Chicago style politics. We, of course, have in our Constitution, constraints against government encroachment upon our rights. But, we also have a bunch of politicians who do not care about that document they took an oath to protect and defend. And, thanks to the gutlessness of the Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court, Obamcare is the law of the land. So, now what? Any ideas?