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Of Bradley County Tn.


AUGUST  2012

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Emergency motion challenges Obama abortion mandate
Penalty for 'free exercise of religion' set to take effect Aug. 1

Continued from page 1...

The law center reported, "The backdrop for the law center's motion for a Temporary Restraining Order is one of the U.S. Supreme Court's greatest statements on our fundamental rights recognized by the Bill of Rights: 'If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.'"

Erin Mersino, the lead counsel in the case for the Thomas More Law Center, was joined by Charles LiMandri, the law center's West Coast director, in the motion.

"We have asked Judge Cleland to set a court hearing on our motion for the earliest possible time to prevent immediate injury to our clients' right of conscience. Without the court's intervention, the HHS mandate effectively penalizes their free exercise of religion," Mersino said.

The goal of the case is to block permanently the implementation of the HHS mandate which requires employers and individuals to obtain insurance coverage for abortions and contraception on the grounds that it imposes clear violations of conscience on Americans who morally object to abortion and contraception.

The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the HHS mandate under the First Amendment rights to the Free Exercise of Religion and Free Speech and the Establishment Clause. It also claims that the HHS mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Thompson said, "The Obama administration deliberately declared war on the Catholic Church by promulgating the HHS mandate. And contrary to what they want you to believe, this case is not about contraception. It is about the religious freedom of Christians, in this case Catholics, to peaceably practice their faith free from government coercion."

He warned the religious liberty for all will be endangered if the Obama administration succeeds in forcing Catholics to violate their beliefs.

The plaintiffs are Legatus, the nation's largest organization of top Catholic business CEOs and professional leaders, Weingartz Supply Co. of Michigan and its president, Daniel Weingartz, also a member of Legatus.

The lawsuit explains: "This is a case about religious freedom. Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father of our country, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and our third president, when describing the construct of our Constitution proclaimed, 'No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.'"

The case seeks a declaration that the mandate violates the Constitution and cannot be enforced.

"As practicing Catholics, the plaintiffs align their beliefs with Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which states 'any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation, whether as an end or as a means' - including contraception - is a grave sin,'" the motion explains.

"Due to these beliefs, plaintiffs designed insurance policies which specifically exclude coverage for contraception, abortion, and abortifacients. However after August 1, 2012, plaintiffs will no longer have the right to make health care insurance decisions in line with their Catholic views."

"Defendants have forced the plaintiffs to face this decision: comply with their deeply held religious beliefs or comply with federal law," the lawsuit says.

While the U.S. Supreme Court, based on Justice John Roberts' determination that what Obama calls a "penalty" actually is a "tax," affirmed Obamacare, there are a number of cases that continue.

"We are already preparing for years of new court battles over health care mandates," explained Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute.

Pacific Justice attorneys said they see several major flashpoints, including the abortion mandate. Other challenges are expected to other regulations which haven't even been announced yet.

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