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-7th Circuit Blocks HHS Contraception Mandate for Catholic Business Owners

by Dr. D ~ November 13th, 2013

This is another case where a Court of Appeals has blocked the Obama administration’s HHS Contraceptive Mandate. This time the suit was brought by two Catholic business owners. Here’s the story from LifeSite News:

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked enforcement of ObamaCare’s controversial contraception mandate in the case of two Catholic business owners.

Cyril and Jane Korte, who own and operate Korte & Luitjohanm Contractors, Inc., and the Grote Family, which owns and manages Grote Industries, Inc., argued that the law forces them to violate their deeply held religious beliefs by forcing them to provide full, copay-free insurance coverage for sterilization, contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs like the “morning after pill.” 

The decision, handed down late last week, said that the birth control mandate places a “substantial burden” on the religious rights of Catholic business owners, and that such business owners have the legal right to sue the government. 

“Complying with the mandate requires [Catholic business owners] to purchase the required contraception coverage (or self-insure for these services), albeit as agents of their companies and using corporate funds,” the judges wrote.  “But this conflicts with their religious commitments; as they understand the requirements of their faith, they must refrain from putting this coverage in place because doing so would make them complicit in the morally wrongful act of another.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: This is another victory against the HHS Mandate. What is really encouraging is that a pattern of legal agreement is beginning to form on this issue.  The Tenth Circuit has already ruled in favor of the Hobby Lobby in a similar case against the Mandate but the Third and Sixth Circuits refused to take Mandate cases where the businesses were corporations ruling that the religious business owners lack standing because they were not legally sole proprietors.

Nevertheless it is far more encouraging than it was just a year ago. So far Dominos Pizza, The Hobby Lobby, Tyndale House and now the businesses above have won court injunctions against the mandate. This does not count the over 100 lawsuits by allied religious organizations and institutions which are deemed to have an even stronger case against the HHS Mandate.

The largest win against the HHS Mandate to date recently came from the second highest court in the land- The DC Circuit. However, since there is still the questions raised by the Third and Sixth Circuits over standing for corporate business owners this is still far from over and will require a SCOTUS ruling to put it all to bed.            *Top

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