- (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit granted a preliminary injunction on Wednesday that blocked enforcement of the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate on a family-run business.
"Americans have the God-given freedom to live and do business according to their faith," Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman said in an email to The Christian Post. "Forcing employers to surrender their faith in order to earn a living is unprecedented, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. Honoring God is important every day, in all areas of life, including in our work. Freedom is not the government's to give and take away when it pleases. We are pleased that the court delivered the Obama administration a reminder of this foundational truth, and we are confident that this unconstitutional mandate's days are numbered."
The case, Grote Industries v. Sebelius, sought to suspend the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate against a Catholic-owned auto lighting manufacturer, based in Indiana, which objected to offering their employees insurance that provides birth control and contraceptives coverage. Roman Catholic doctrine forbids using any type of artificial birth control, and a number of Catholic institutions in the U.S. have filed similar lawsuits against this particular aspect of Obamacare.
The 7th Circuit's ruled that the Grote Family and Grote Industries were able to establish "a reasonable likelihood of success" to their claims of moral objection.
"We also conclude that they will suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction pending appeal, and the balance of harms tips in their favor," the court stated.
ADF say that so far, the Obama administration's record in cases litigated involving the contraceptive mandate is four wins to 10 losses. While the mandate allows for certain religious institutions with a moral objection to the insurance clause to petition for an exemption, there has been some debate over what precisely constitutes a religious organization.
The Obama administration, for example, is arguing against Tyndale House Publishers, a for-profit organization that publishes Bibles and Christian books, and its claims that it is a religious group and should receive the exemption. The White House is petitioning to the U.S. Court of Appeals that since Tyndale is not a nonprofit organization, it should not be eligible for the exemption.
"For the government to say that a Bible publisher isn't religious is startling," ADF commented earlier.