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Judge: Obama Admin Can Force Hobby Lobby to Obey HHS Mandate
Life News ^ | November 20, 2012 | Steven Ertelt

Posted on 11/20/2012 1:12:51 PM PST by NYer

A federal judge has issued a ruling siding with the Obama administration saying that it has the right to force Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned and run company, to pay for drugs for women that may cause abortions.

The privately held retail chain with more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The company says it would face $1.3 million in fines on a daily basis starting in January if it fails to comply with the mandate, which requires religious employers to pay for or refer women for abortion-cause drugs that violate their conscience or religious beliefs.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma and the business says it is opposing the Health and Human Services “preventive services” mandate, which it says forces the Christian-owned-and-operated business to provide, without co-pay, the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to 1.3 million dollars per day.

“By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” said David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”

However, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton issued a ruling late Monday rejecting Hobby Lobby’s request to block the mandate. Judge Heaton said that the company doesn’t qualify for an exemption because it is not a church or religious group.

“Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion,” the ruling said.

Heaton wrote that “the court is not unsympathetic” to the company’s desire to not pay for abortion-causing drugs but he said the Obamacare law

“results in concerns and issues not previously confronted by companies or their owners.”

“The question of whether the Greens can establish a free exercise constitutional violation by reason of restrictions or requirements imposed on general business corporations they own or control involves largely uncharted waters,” Heaton wrote.

Hobby Lobby plans to appeal the ruling, according to a pro-life legal group that notified LifeNews of the ruling.

“Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs,” Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said. “We disagree with this decision and we will immediately appeal it.”

The court did not question that the Green family has sincere religious beliefs forbidding them from participating in abortion. The court ruled, however, that those beliefs were only “indirectly” burdened by the mandate’s requirement that they provide free coverage for specific, abortion-inducing drugs in Hobby Lobby’s self-funded insurance plan.

Duncan previously talked about what the Obama administration told the court:

The administration’s arguments in this case are shocking. Here’s what they are saying: once someone starts a “secular” business, he categorically loses any right to run that business in accordance with his conscience. The business owner simply leaves her First Amendment rights at home when she goes to work at the business she built. Kosher butchers around the country must be shocked to find that they now run “secular” businesses. On this view of the world, even a seller of Bibles is “secular.” Hobby Lobby’s affiliate, Mardel, sells Bibles and other Christian-themed material, but because it makes a profit the government has now declared it “secular.”

The administration’s position here — while astonishing — is actually consistent with its overall view of the place of religion in civil society. After all, this is the administration who argued in the Hosanna-Tabor case last year in the Supreme Court that the religion clauses of the First Amendment offered no special protection to a church’s right to choose its ministers — a position that the Court rejected 9-0. This is the administration which has taken to referring to “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion” — suggesting that religious freedom consists in being free to engage in private rituals and prayers, but not in carrying your religious convictions into public life. And this is the administration who crafted a “religious employer” exemption to the HHS mandate so narrow that a Catholic charity does not qualify for conscience protection if it serves non-Catholic poor people.

As you point out, the administration is trying to justify its rigid stance against religious business owners by saying otherwise they would become a “law unto themselves,” and be able to do all sorts of nasty things to their employees — like force them to attend Bible studies, or fire them if they denied the divinity of Christ. Nonsense. Hobby Lobby isn’t arguing for the right to impose the Greens’ religion on employees, nor for the right to fire employees of different religions. There’s already a federal law that protects employees from religious discrimination and that’s a very good thing. This case is about something entirely different: it’s about stopping the government from coercing religious business owners. The government wants to fine the Greens if they do not violate their own faith by handing out free abortion drugs, and now it’s saying they don’t even have the right to complain in court about it

Duncan said the onerous provisions of the HHS mandate “will hit Hobby Lobby in about two months — on January 1, 2013. At that point, it will face the choice of dropping employee health insurance altogether (and paying about $26 million a year in penalties), or continuing its current plan (which will expose it to about $1.3 million in fines per day). So it is not hard to imagine why the Greens felt they had no choice but to go to court.”

There are now 40 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”). The Becket Fund led the charge against the unconstitutional HHS mandate, and along with Hobby Lobby represents: Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, and Ave Maria University.

Hobby Lobby is the largest and the biggest non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the HHS mandate, focusing sharp criticism on the administration’s regulation that forces all companies, regardless of religious conviction, to cover abortion-inducing drugs. It has faced a small boycott from liberals upset that it would challenge the mandate in court.

The Obama admin says there is an exemption in the statute but Duncan says that is not acceptable.

“The safe harbor’s protection is illusory,” said Duncan. “Even though the government won’t make religious colleges pay crippling fines this year, private lawsuits can still be brought, schools are at a competitive disadvantage for hiring and retaining faculty, and employees face the specter of battling chronic conditions without access to affordable care. This mandate puts these religious schools in an impossible position.”

Last week, a federal court stopped enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against a Bible publisher which filed a lawsuit against it — the third such victory.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: abortion; bloodoftyrants; churchandstate; contraception; culturewar; democrats; govtabuse; hhs; hobbylobby; libralfascism; moralabsolutes; obama; obamacare; obamunism; tyranny; waronchristians; waronliberty
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1 posted on 11/20/2012 1:13:05 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

FYI ping!


2 posted on 11/20/2012 1:14:15 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: NYer

This is so NOT right. It is so NOT American. I am so disgusted with these activist judges who decide how people want to run their businesses. I guess if the workers wanted the morning after pill they could go work at the Post Office. GET A LIFE, the guy invested his money and time to run a company that is valued based on a belief system, THIS IS AMERICA, land of the free and brave, or at least it was..


3 posted on 11/20/2012 1:16:38 PM PST by rovenstinez
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To: NYer

I wonder what would happen if Hobby Lobby decided to pursue liquidation over this.


4 posted on 11/20/2012 1:16:54 PM PST by Ingtar (Everyone complains about the weather, but only Liberals try to legislate it.)
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To: NYer

Three victories so far. Keep on fighting, Hobby Lobby.


5 posted on 11/20/2012 1:17:12 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (They may take our lives... but they'll never take our FREEDOM!)
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To: NYer

No, they CAN’T “force” them to comply.
Hobby Lobby can re-arrange their business so that they are not covered by the law. It would be painful to the employees,

but no, 0bama can’t force them to do anything.


6 posted on 11/20/2012 1:17:12 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: NYer

It’s a tax! Of course the government can force us to do anything, It’s a tax! the unsupreme court told us so.


7 posted on 11/20/2012 1:18:07 PM PST by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: rovenstinez

It wasn’t that long ago that people were defending white only businesses with the same argument. It’s time to move on.


8 posted on 11/20/2012 1:18:07 PM PST by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: NYer

So... Am I understanding this right?

Once a person, let’s say a Muslim, starts a SECULAR business, lets say a RESTAURANT then he is required to sell me bacon whether he is against it on religious purposes or not?


9 posted on 11/20/2012 1:18:19 PM PST by Mr. K (some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help...)
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To: NYer
“Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion,” the ruling said.

Frightening...

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

10 posted on 11/20/2012 1:19:11 PM PST by Ingtar (Everyone complains about the weather, but only Liberals try to legislate it.)
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To: NYer

Every day my utter contempt and hatred for this Marxist POS administration continues to grow.


11 posted on 11/20/2012 1:21:12 PM PST by Marathoner (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: NYer
Only as much as the unions could force Hostess to meet their demands. They actually have more options: lower hours below Obamacare thresholds, drop insurance and pay penalty, or choose to shut down.

Ironically, the liberals have backed pro-life business owners into a corner in which all their "clear conscience" options hurt the worker. So much for wanting to help the worker, but we all knew this was really about power and not the worker.

12 posted on 11/20/2012 1:21:18 PM PST by 5thGenTexan
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To: JCBreckenridge

“A federal judge has issued a ruling siding with the Obama administration saying that it has the right to force Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned and run company, to pay for drugs for women that may cause abortions.”

Just wait until this guy loads the Federal Courts with his liberal justices. Also, he will throw the balance of the SCOTUS to the far left after appointing two or possibly three justices.

These are scary times . . . real scary times.


13 posted on 11/20/2012 1:22:54 PM PST by Mr. Wright (NAACP)
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To: Ingtar

What you cited was for back when we was under the Constitution. But thanks to the voters electing and re-electing bastards such as the occupier of the White House, that situation no longer exists.


14 posted on 11/20/2012 1:23:10 PM PST by sport
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To: DonaldC

I am sorry but your comment and your tag line don’t match.


15 posted on 11/20/2012 1:24:20 PM PST by funfan
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To: NYer

“YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT!!!!” - President Barack Hussein (Santa Claus) Obama


16 posted on 11/20/2012 1:24:38 PM PST by Twinkie (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)
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To: rovenstinez

If you read the ruling you will find that this is not an activist judge. He correctly states that Obamacare is in uncharted waters and he correctly lays out both positions. As the first judge hearing the case, he knows that he will not be the last judge to hear the case.

However, in my not so humble opinion, the Judge missed the constitution arguments at their heart. In essence, which has higher precedence 1st amendment vs the 17th amendment? Does the right to engage in religious activity or to refrain from abhorrent activity, trump the right of the government to tax? That is the battle and the issue to be decided.

This judge just took the easy way out knowing others will decide the issue.


17 posted on 11/20/2012 1:24:48 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: NYer

Remember America, the home of the brave and the land of the free? It is now a totally corrupt cesspool of political operatives, all bought and paid with OUR money.


18 posted on 11/20/2012 1:26:08 PM PST by Dapper 26
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To: Ingtar

If a corporation is a “person”, then why doesn’t it have religious freedom?


19 posted on 11/20/2012 1:28:33 PM PST by WildHighlander57 ((WildHighlander57 returning after lurking since 2000))
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To: taxcontrol
This judge just took the easy way out knowing others will decide the issue.

IOW, another John Roberts.

20 posted on 11/20/2012 1:28:45 PM PST by Marathoner (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: NYer

Here’s hoping people will eventually wake up to the fact that a judge’s edict is no substitute for thought, but I’m not holding my breath.

In the meantime, if anyone out thinks that the solution to government tyranny lies with a government institution, I’ve got a million-dollar gun collection to sell you.


21 posted on 11/20/2012 1:29:45 PM PST by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be purchased and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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To: Ingtar
Obama’s Ideology would conclude: Mission Accomplished!
22 posted on 11/20/2012 1:31:01 PM PST by classified
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To: NYer

I was hoping HL would have a CFA Moment after hearing about their agreement on homo stuff and being Christian; maybe they can have 1 now? I still haven’t visited our new 1, but will soon.


23 posted on 11/20/2012 1:31:21 PM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: NYer

The Communists (Liberal Democrat Socialists) aren’t satisfied until they strong arm everyone into participating with them in their ungodliness and perversions.


24 posted on 11/20/2012 1:31:35 PM PST by Twinkie (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)
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To: NYer

Its the mark of the beast.


25 posted on 11/20/2012 1:34:41 PM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: NYer
There are no more Mandates that are Un-Constitutional, just as there is NO LEGAL WAY that Executive Orders should be allowed to be implemented on We The People, without Congress at least creating the Legislation.

The only "Rights" you have are those that are consistent with The Socialist Agenda, and moreso if you are a "Protected Class" identified by them. That includes Blacks, Illegals, women who give away their bodies and get knocked up, etc.

We have seen the End of the America we knew, and there's no turning back until Rebellion or Civil War restores this Country.

26 posted on 11/20/2012 1:35:11 PM PST by traditional1 (Don't gotsta worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gotsta worry 'bout no gas; Obama gonna take care o' me!)
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To: Mr. K

That should be the case but when you have a muslim/socialist/communist in charge, who make the rules as he goes, with the total media in his pocket, perhaps the rules will apply to all except muslims.


27 posted on 11/20/2012 1:35:34 PM PST by classified
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To: NYer

Surprise——surprise-—surprise.

A eunoch Judge decides in favor of Obamacare.


28 posted on 11/20/2012 1:36:04 PM PST by Venturer
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To: NYer

Wyatt’s Torch.


29 posted on 11/20/2012 1:39:18 PM PST by Truth29
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To: Marathoner

Yep, exactly.

It would have been just as easy for the Judge to say “I find no precedence for any law to force individuals to violate their religious beliefs in the work place. In fact, the totality of the record supports the right of the individual to not engage in supporting activities they find offensive.”


30 posted on 11/20/2012 1:39:50 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: NYer

We hold these Truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Not ‘from their King,’ not from ‘the man who WOULD be King,’ not by the self-appointed HE who dishes out and takes back OUR rights.

Obama makes me vomit.


31 posted on 11/20/2012 1:40:08 PM PST by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: Dapper 26

Remember America, the home of the brave and the land of the free? It is now a totally corrupt cesspool of political operatives, all bought and paid with OUR money.


And in the words of my Dad - Normandy Vet - recently deceased —

This is not the America I and many others fought and died for......


32 posted on 11/20/2012 1:40:50 PM PST by patriotspride
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To: DonaldC
“It wasn’t that long ago that people were defending white only businesses with the same argument. It’s time to move on.”

Yeah, and it wasn't that long ago that people were warning not to crush the racists with the force of law or there would be hell to pay somewhere down the line...welcome to somewhere down the line.

33 posted on 11/20/2012 1:41:09 PM PST by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: DonaldC

Move on my @$$! Religious freedom is one of the cornerstones of a free society. I for one will not accept the HHS mandate or any other law requiring me to pay for someone else’s abortions or contraceptives. I fail to see what relevance questions of racial discrimination have to the issue at hand.


34 posted on 11/20/2012 1:46:36 PM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: DonaldC

Nice bit of equivocating there, Donnie.


35 posted on 11/20/2012 1:47:01 PM PST by tbpiper
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To: NYer

Would you be as incensed if this business owner was a Jehovah’s Witness and required to offer health insurance policies to his employees that covered blood transfusions?


36 posted on 11/20/2012 1:48:14 PM PST by ksen
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To: NYer

Judge: Obama Admin Can Force Hobby Lobby to Obey HHS Mandate

Actually they Obama can’t.
This company is free to close their doors tomorrow. They are free to reduce the number of employees to below the threshold number or their hours below the threshold number.
In the end Obamacare is just a destroyer.


37 posted on 11/20/2012 1:51:23 PM PST by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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To: DonaldC

A private business is just that, a PRIVATE business. If I owned my own business I should be able to run it how I see fit. If that means NOT supplying contraceptives in the insurance coverage so be it. If that means I want to serve whites only, so be it. People have the right NOT to work for me or frequent my business.


38 posted on 11/20/2012 1:54:10 PM PST by rfreedom4u (I have a copy of the Constitution! And I'm not afraid to use it!)
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To: DonaldC

(It wasn’t that long ago that people were defending white only businesses with the same argument. It’s time to move on.)

NONSENSE.
And it is NEVER time to move on from freedom and liberty!


39 posted on 11/20/2012 1:54:25 PM PST by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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To: DonaldC

...as in MoveOn.org ?

What are you doing here on FRee Republic?


40 posted on 11/20/2012 1:54:45 PM PST by ne1410s ("We will not tolerate your intolerance!!!" ...huh?)
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To: NYer

and Atlas Shrugged


41 posted on 11/20/2012 1:54:52 PM PST by Rightly Biased (Avenge me Girls AVENEGE ME!!!! ( I don't have any son's))
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To: NYer

There goes religious freedom.


42 posted on 11/20/2012 1:56:44 PM PST by Mr. Doctor
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To: NYer

I would not comply with this.


43 posted on 11/20/2012 1:57:30 PM PST by major1971 (Lies and sorrow may float through the air, but truth and happiness live inside yourself.)
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To: patriotspride

As a VietNam vet who had 5 dead Americans on the tailgate of my APC during TET 1968 while still in hostile contact with the enemy, I feel the same way.


44 posted on 11/20/2012 1:58:20 PM PST by Dapper 26
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To: ksen
Would you be as incensed if this business owner was a Jehovah’s Witness and required to offer health insurance policies to his employees that covered blood transfusions?

Since when is it the government's job to make it illegal to offer certain kinds of health insurance policies? If the employee doesn't like the health insurance policy offered, just as if they don't like the salary or vacation hours offered, they're free to work somewhere else.

What if the government required all health insurance policies to cover female circumcision as an option for girls? Would you be okay with that?

45 posted on 11/20/2012 1:59:39 PM PST by JediJones (Newt Gingrich warned us that the "King of Bain" was unelectable. Did you listen?)
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To: NYer

what is going to happen is that those that have lower end jobs, will end up working 29 hours or less a week to keep the employer from paying for the health care cost.

we will people working at least two jobs to be able to support themselves without benefits.

alot of these businesses will have more employees working for the same hours available.

business owners are logical. politicians are not.

blessings, bobo


46 posted on 11/20/2012 2:00:39 PM PST by bobo1
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To: NYer
What about the various banks and brokerages that set up Sharia compliant funds and accounts for Mooze Lames? If they have the right to operate according to specific religious standards, why not Hobby Lobby? Well, because no one has taken the banks and brokerages to court over their blatent discrimination against other religions and clear religious bias of their actions.

Those corporations shouldn't be allowed to discriminate against everyone else by operating a segment of their business according to religious standards and not tailoring other plans for other religions.

47 posted on 11/20/2012 2:00:59 PM PST by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: Rightly Biased

I am shrugging next year when I shut down 40 years of a family business that obama killed. I am John Galt.

LLS


48 posted on 11/20/2012 2:01:19 PM PST by LibLieSlayer (WOLVERINES!)
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To: JediJones

Nice dodge.

The whole point of the article is the First Amendment angle. Is there no limit to your First Amendment rights when they start adversely affecting the lives of other people?


49 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:06 PM PST by ksen
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To: DonaldC

I don’t think that anyone ever tried to defend a whites only hiring policy on the basis of religious conscience. Actually the most egregious example of a whites only hiring policy was the Electrical Workers and Machinist Union and I don’t think that they claimed any religious exemption.

Remember, the racists were mostly Democrats.


50 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:32 PM PST by Eva
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