Court Blocks Enforcement of HHS Mandate against Illinois company
On January 1, the HHS mandate will go into effect. The mandate, a part of President Obama’s health care overhaul, requires employers to provide health insurance that includes coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs. While there is a small exemption for churches, employers who object to the contraceptive and abortion-inducing drug coverage on religious or moral grounds are not protected.
Last week, Domino’s Farms Corporation filed an emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order to block enforcement of the mandate. Meanwhile, the Hobby Lobby saw the Supreme Court deny its request for relief from the mandate.
According to the Christian Post, a court has now ruled in favor of a company seeking to have enforcement of the mandate blocked. A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. The Catholic-owned company was represented by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Cyril B. Korte and Jane E. Korte, both Catholics, own a controlling stake in the company. The Kortes claim that the mandate violates their religious freedom.
ACLJ Senior Counsel Edward White stated, “Our argument is clear: the HHS Mandate unlawfully compels employers such as our clients to do the following: abandon their faith to comply with the law, or follow their faith and pay significant annual penalties to the government.”