The American Center for Law & Justice, along with Regent University, has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the lawsuit filed by Grace College and Seminary and Biola University against the HHS mandate, which forces them to pay for abortion-inducing drugs contrary to their religious beliefs.
Grace College and Seminary and Biola University (“Colleges”) are Christ-centered institutions of higher learning. They believe that God, in His Word, has condemned the intentional destruction of innocent human life.
Based on their sincerely-held religious beliefs, these Colleges believe it is sinful and immoral for them to participate in, pay for, or support abortion.
The HHS mandate, however, requires them, and many other employers in this country, to provide health insurance for their employees that covers abortion-inducing drugs.
Failure to comply with the mandate will result in employers being fined by the government with significant penalties. Should the Colleges not comply with the mandate, they face annual penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In light of the mandate, the Colleges recently filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The federal government has requested that the court dismiss the case.
The ACLJ and Regent University submitted their friend-of-the-court brief in support of the Colleges’ opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss.
In their brief, the ACLJ and Regent University explain, in particular, that the mandate runs counter to this Nation’s long and proud tradition of accommodating the religious beliefs and practices of all its citizens.
The brief further states that the mandate imposes an unconstitutional burden on individuals and organizations, who firmly oppose having to subsidize, provide, and/or facilitate activities and services that are contrary to their religious beliefs.
The brief also points out that another federal court in New York City recently denied a similar request by the government to dismiss a lawsuit filed by several Catholic organizations, including the Archdiocese of New York.
The Catholic organizations were supported by the ACLJ and 79 Members of Congress, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court not to dismiss the lawsuit and to allow it to continue to a resolution on the merits.
Along with filing numerous friend-of-the-court briefs supporting lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, the ACLJ is actively involved in representing clients in their own lawsuits against the mandate.
To date, the ACLJ has filed three federal lawsuits on behalf of for-profit businesses who believe the mandate violates their sincerely-held religious principles.
These lawsuits include our recent victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. There, the court blocked the application of the mandate to our client and his business while the case is pending on appeal.
We will continue to update you on our important litigation efforts against the HHS mandate. The litigation against the mandate is among the most important religious liberties litigation now taking place in this country.
Edward White is Senior Counsel with the ACLJ and has been practicing law for more than twenty years. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he was a Thomas J. White Center for Law & Government Scholar and managing and student articles editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.
Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.