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  • Hercules Battles Anti-Conscience Mandate in Court as August 1 Deadline Looms

    A federal district court judge in Colorado will hear arguments today regarding a motion for preliminary injunction in Newland v. Sebelius. Hercules Industries and the Newland family requested the injunction to halt the Obama Administration’s implementation of its conscience-crushing contraception mandate.

    At stake is whether family business owners like the Newlands will remain free to conduct business according to their convictions or be forced by the government to violate their beliefs.

    The Newlands’ father founded the company in 1962 and built it into a successful business now run by his family in keeping with their religious beliefs. The company’s mission statement promises to “nurture and maintain the culture of a family owned business in which our employees grow financially, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.” The Newlands have omitted abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization from their employee insurance plan since before the mandate was finalized in February.

    Hercules Industries would be required to begin offering the mandated coverage when its self-insured plan renews on November 1. Because Hercules is a private, for-profit business, it is excluded from the mandate’s narrow religious exemption and, like all non-religious employers, is ineligible for a year-long “safe harbor” that simply delays the conscience-crushing effects of the mandate. Its attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom have requested an injunction barring the government’s enforcement of the mandate against the company by August 1, the date by which it would need to begin making changes to its plan to comply with the mandate.

    If the requested injunction is granted, it will be the first of its kind. Two separate lawsuits against the mandate were dismissed last week on strictly procedural grounds (though plaintiffs can re-file in a matter of months). The Newland case is different because it goes directly to the merits of the religious freedom questions provoked by the government’s coercive mandate—whether the state will be permitted to exercise its coercive power over the conscience of every American who engages in business.

    The Obama Administration has repeatedly pressed a narrow, privatized concept of religion and a cramped reading of religious freedom that attempts to confine this fundamental liberty to the four walls of the home or of the church on Sundays.

    For example, it limited its narrow exemption to the mandate solely to organizations that focus their activities on the inculcation of religion, primarily serve and hire coreligionists, and file tax returns as churches or religious orders, thereby excluding a host of organizations that exercise their faith by serving society’s lost and least. In Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, the Administration took the remarkable position that religious organizations are just like any other private association under our Constitution, regardless of the text of the First Amendment. That position drew a unanimous rebuke from the Supreme Court.

    The Hercules case is no exception to the Administration’s disappointing pattern. Here, it has attempted to graft onto the First Amendment a condition that would suspend its application in the business context, forcing business owners to abandon their religious and moral convictions as a condition of participating in commerce. The Administration does not appear to perceive religion as something that people of faith strive to live out daily in every aspect of their lives, however imperfectly.

    By consistently adopting the most miserly interpretation of the religious freedom protections guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administration tramples upon this most fundamental American principle and only encourages further litigation.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Hercules Battles Anti-Conscience Mandate in Court as August 1 Deadline Looms

    1. Bobbie says:

      This shouldn't pose such an issue on the private sector. why is everyone that takes the responsibility to insure their own subject to obama's condescending insurance regulations? Why isn't self reliance encouraged to those obama uses as victims instead of self reliance punished by confinement by Obama's rules? Stop this horrific government overreach!! This isn't what America(ns) want as Obama and Pelosi hid from America(ns) what it was that the average mind would oppose this dangerous and corrupt law upon suggesting.

      What kind of people like this kind of leadership?????? "Can't know what's in it 'til we pass it" or whatever… what part of TRUST is in THAT especially finding out what WE KNOW NOW?

    2. Al Connellyl says:

      It is far past the time when impeachment proceedings should have been implemented to rid the country of this tyrant. When did it become the obligation of working citizens to provide contraceptives for people of loose morals? Why are we not promoting family values and restraint in sexual activity and holding individuals responsible for the messes they create. Our country is rapidly becoming a place for neer do wells totally supported by people with integrity, drive, and ambition. If the numbers are correct and 50% of the population pays no tax, we are already a lost cause and it is only a short time before the productive Americans start to fold up their tents and move their investments and savings to other countries, similar to what happened to Argentina after the country went socialistic. Al

    3. Stephen Maus says:

      The President is a product of a questionable relationship based on a questionable moral code. He has been supported by government all his life and cannot relate to Americans who believe in being responsible for themselves and live for a higher purpose according to God's plan. Government is his god and he thinks we should obey it It is evident what our culture is becoming by going down that road.

    4. Daniel says:

      Since Colorado law (2010 HB 1021) has required contraception coverage since 2010 and does not seem to provide any exclusions how did they avoid providing it?

    5. Mary Kay Barton says:

      Three cheers for the Newlands for having the guts to stand up for what they believe! Praying their efforts will be successful! God will most assuredly bless these folks no matter the outcome of the court case.

    6. Leadership? It is not leadership at all, it's tyrranical government coercion! If this President and his administration, ( Democrat national socialists ) is allowed to intrude into private businesses, no one will be able to do business in this country, unless it's by Obamas rules.( numbers from 1 to 666.)

      I make no apologies for this view! Sit down and go over every proposed action Obama has made.
      Line item by line item, every one has been to minimize the constitution, religion, personal liberties and especially the first amendment! This president and his administration are a malignant cancer on America!

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