Monday, July 30, 2012

Obamacare - Religious Freedom - #4082 - Judge Blocks Contraception Mandate in Religious Liberty Lawsuit - Washington Examiner

A federal judge in Colorado relieved a private company owned by Roman Catholics of the requirement to provide employees with contraception, pending further litigation of the contraception mandate. “A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy; accordingly, the right to relief must be clear and unequivocal,” Judge John Kane — an appointee of President Jimmy Carter’s — wrote as he explained his order today. “On balance, the threatened harm to Plaintiffs, impingement of their right to freely exercise their religious beliefs, and the concommittant public interest in that right s[t]rongly favor the entry of injunctive relief.” The lawsuit was brought by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the owners of Hercules Industries, Inc., — a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company owned by a Roman Catholic family. The company self-insures, and so the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate contained in Obamacare would require them to provide contraception to employees, despite their religious beliefs to the contrary. “Can a corporation exercise religion?” Kane asked in his order. “Should a closely-held subchapter-s corporation owned and operated by a small group of individuals professing adherence to uniform religious beliefs be treated differently than a publicly held corporation owned and operated by a group of stakeholders with diverse religious beliefs? Is it possible to ‘pierce the veil’ and disregard the corporate form in this context? What is the significance of the pass-through taxation applicable to subchapter-s corporations as it pertains to this analysis? These questions merit more deliberate investigation.” Matt Bowman, legal counsel at ADF, noted that “the cost of freedom for this family could be millions of dollars per year in fines that will cripple their business if the Obama administration ultimately has its way” because of the fines imposed on the company for failing to provide an acceptable health insurance plan to employees.  Read more...........

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