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Seven states, Catholic plaintiffs file largest lawsuit against HHS mandate
cna ^ | February 24, 2012 | Benjamin Mann

Posted on 02/24/2012 6:14:27 AM PST by NYer

Lincoln, Neb., Feb 23, 2012 / 07:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).-

President Obama's contraception mandate is facing its biggest legal challenge yet, in a lawsuit brought by seven state attorneys general, a school, two women, a charitable group, and a major Catholic insurer.

In their lawsuit filed Feb. 23 against the federal government, the 12 plaintiffs challenge the rule they say “would coerce religious organizations … to directly subsidize contraception, abortifacients, sterilization, and related services in contravention with their religious beliefs.”

They maintain that the administration's rule, requiring insurance coverage of the controversial drugs and devices, is an “unprecedented invasion” of their “First Amendment rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, and free association.”

“This case illustrates that the federal government's rule punishes people of faith in all situations, just because they want to make decisions according to their own religious beliefs,” Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Matt Bowman told CNA on Feb. 23.

“In this case you have individuals, Catholic agencies, a religious school, a nun, and a variety of states – trying to defend their citizen's right not to have their religious freedom attacked by this federal mandate involving abortion-inducing drugs and other items.”

The lawsuit is the fifth and largest so far against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who confirmed on Feb. 10 that many religious institutions would be forced to underwrite “preventive services” as part of federal health care reform.

Other defendants named in the suit include U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, all of whom are being sued in their capacity as officials of the U.S. government.

The 12 plaintiffs include the attorneys general of Nebraska, South Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Oklahoma. They are joined by Catholic Social Services, Nebraska's Pius X Catholic High School, and the Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America.

Two Catholic women, Sister Mary Catherine, C.K., and lay missionary Stacy Molai, are also suing Sebelius, Geithner, and Solis.

While all of the plaintiffs allege a government violation of the First Amendment, they do so on particular grounds due to their individual circumstances.

The Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America, also known as the Catholic Mutual Group, was founded in 1889 and currently provides coverage to over half of U.S. Catholic dioceses along with over 250 religious orders and other institutions.

“Insurers are often run by people with religious faith, who should not have to choose between their belief and their participation in our society,” Bowman noted, explaining the importance of Catholic Mutual Group's involvement in the suit.

Because the group does not primarily employ workers who share its religious beliefs, it would be subject to the contraception mandate if it chose to change its employee health care plans to switch from those it offered as of March 2010.

Catholic Social Services, a Nebraska-based charitable organization, does not qualify for the mandate's religious exemption because it serves people of all faiths. Pius X high school, similarly, could be forced to cover services which its current insurance plan excludes for moral reasons.

According to the seven state attorneys general, the contraception coverage rule's implementation would force many non-exempt religious institutions to stop offering health insurance for reasons of conscience.

Many of these employees, the lawsuit notes, would have to shift to Medicaid in order to comply with the federal health care law's individual coverage mandate – placing a financial burden on states already facing a spike in Medicaid enrollments because of the health care law.

Both of the individual plaintiffs object on moral grounds to subsidizing contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs through their health plans.

Sr. Mary Catherine's plan would be subject to the mandate, while Molai may have to choose between a morally offensive plan, and the loss of health insurance in the future.

Bowman told CNA that the broad spectrum of plaintiffs showed the mandate's dramatic impact on religious liberty throughout society. He praised the state attorneys general for their willingness to defend freedom for all faiths.

“This is not an issue that is isolated to one church,” said Bowman. “The Federal government's actions attack the freedom of all Americans to live and practice whatever their faith is, without being forced to violate the sanctity of human life and sexuality.”

“It is the duty of government to protect the rights of the citizens – because those rights come from God. They don't come from the federal government that claims the ability to define who's 'religious' and who isn't.”

“The states in this case are doing what the government should do, which is to protect American citizens from the attack on freedom that the federal government, and the people in charge of it at the moment, are waging against religious believers.”

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government

1 posted on 02/24/2012 6:14:32 AM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

2 posted on 02/24/2012 6:15:19 AM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

I certainly hope MORE states will join this fight.

3 posted on 02/24/2012 6:18:05 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita

How did I know Massachusetts wouldn’t be one of the seven?

But “Marsha” Coakley was willing enough to file a suit against the U.S. government to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

...ANOTHER small-c “catholic” that should have been excommunicated a LONG time ago!

4 posted on 02/24/2012 6:31:33 AM PST by massmike (Massachusetts:Stopped hanging witches;started electing Kennedys.Coincidence?)
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To: massmike

“...ANOTHER small-c “catholic” that should have been excommunicated a LONG time ago!”


I agree...and I think we may see some public excommunication in our time. The scandal given by such politicians is simply becoming too great.

5 posted on 02/24/2012 6:43:58 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: NYer

I don’t regard this as good news.

This is just another way for the Bishops to avoid a political confrontation with Obama.

Given Church history, I can understand why they want to avoid that. But at this point confrontation has become utterly unavoidable. And they attempt to do so at their peril.

6 posted on 02/24/2012 7:03:59 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: NYer


The States Constitutional Rights Came First before the USA or the U.S. Constitution Existed

The Attorneys General should file also for states` rights in HHS`/Obummer`s violation of their respective state constitutions which have more explicit religious freedom and conscience clauses language than the U.S. Constitution and have precedent used as the basis for the First Amendment.

The First Amendment merely synopsized the explicit language in the States` Constitutions, because that is where the 13 original colonies/states spelled out their states` citizens` constitutional rights and they knew that this is where the First Amendment originated.

The First Amendment did not originate out of thin air but was born out of the states` constitutions` explicit religious freedom and conscience clauses language.

For example:

this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare, that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever hereafter be allowed, within this State, to all mankind: Provided, That the LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.

NY 1777 Constitution ---------------------

Vermont Constitution Article 3rd. Freedom in religion; right and duty of religious worship (notes)

That all persons have a natural and unalienable right, to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understandings, as in their opinion shall be regulated by the word of God; and that no person ought to, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister, contrary to the dictates of conscience, nor can any person be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of religious sentiments, or peculiar mode of religious worship; and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in, or assumed by, any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE, in the free exercise of religious worship. Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of Christians ought to observe the sabbath or Lord's day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God

All religious societies, or bodies of people that may be united or incorporated for the advancement of religion and learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and PROTECTED in the enjoyment of the privileges, IMMUNITIES, estates, which they in justice ought to enjoy, under such regulations as the general assembly of this state shall direct. ====================

New Hampshire Constitution of 1784


IV. Among the natural rights, some are in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or received for them. Of this kind are the RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE.

V. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship GOD according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty or estate for worshipping GOD, in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, or for his religious profession, sentiments or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or disturb others, in their religious worship.


Mass. Constitution 1780

Art. II. It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the DICTATES OF HIS OWN CONSCIENCE, or for his religious profession or sentiments, provided he doth not disturb the public peace or obstruct others in their religious worship.

And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.

7 posted on 02/24/2012 7:22:16 AM PST by bunkerhill7 (States came first? ?????-?- Who knew?)
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To: bunkerhill7

The DOJ will rule that the Catholic Church has no standing because...wait for it......Separation of Church and State!

8 posted on 02/24/2012 8:35:31 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: NYer; Condor51; Salvation; TADSLOS; miss marmelstein; cap10mike; Recovering_Democrat; Mrs. Don-o; ..

Why now?

Some may wonder why “The Singing Dictator” (up for reelection) would alienate 50 Million Catholics and other opposed to his stupid b/c mandate?

The “grinning fool” is playing a dangerous game: agitating the population from the top down——and ready to apply the vise from the bottom up when the heat is on.

Keep in mind many Ohaha suckups-—Muslims and Van Jones come to mind-—despise Catholics, and religion in general, and are egging Ohaha on.

That crowd better be careful.

Hanging on to hatred that powerful can blind one.

Heck.....fingers, and other body parts, could even get caught in that vise.


9 posted on 02/25/2012 6:06:47 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
*** Why now? ... Some may wonder why “The Singing Dictator” (up for reelection) would alienate 50 Million Catholics and other opposed to his stupid b/c mandate? ***


Maybe because like a previous Dictator in recent history, oops - 'Leader', oops again I mean Führer, all his ILLEGAL acts got nothing but a lot Harrumphes from the World Powers of the time.

In our case those 'world powers' doing all the Harrumphing would be the House of Representatives, with our Führer being enabled by his fellow travelers who control the US Senate.

Ergo our Führer currently believes he can get away with murder. Literally. By ordering DICTATING that Catholics and all people of faith, that now they MUST comply with his ILLEGAL FIAT to aide in killing who he wishes and how. Which in this case is Unborn Human Lives with Mandatory Abortion Insurance coverage.

Keep in mind many Ohaha suckups-—Muslims and Van Jones come to mind-—despise Catholics, and religion in general, and are egging Ohaha on.... That crowd better be careful. ... Heck.....fingers, and other body parts, could even get caught in that vise.

Yes they better be very careful, very. As that 'vise' may not be an actual 'vise'. And more than body parts can be 'caught' in said vise. The vise could be 'The Law' and Congress or, We The People who've finally had enough. And those body parts could be a whole and like a mirror of how good ole Benito Mussolini wound up with his mistress -- Swinging around in Milan.

[During the Führer's relatively short reign of 12 years there were Forty Internal Plots against him (just quoting Historical Facts. Not insinuating anything).]

10 posted on 02/25/2012 8:59:06 AM PST by Condor51 (Yo Hoffa, so you want to 'take out conservatives'. Well okay Jr - I'm your Huckleberry)
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To: Liz; NYer; All

Thanks for the ping; post; thread. Between the executive, the legislative and the judicial...we have been triangulated by neo-totalitarians. The leviathan rolls on. USSC June 2012.

11 posted on 02/25/2012 6:01:35 PM PST by PGalt
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