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Colo. company secures injunction against HHS mandate


KEVIN J. JONES

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
7/27/2012

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ABSTRACTColo. company secures injunction against HHS mandate :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood Home » News » US Breaking News Colo. company secures injunction against HHS mandate By Kevin J. Jones Executives of Hercules Industries, from left to right, James Newland, Paul Newland, William Newland and Andrew Newland. Photo courtesy of the Alliance Defending Freedom. Denver, Colo., Jul 27, 2012 / 03:23 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- In the first legal ruling against the controversial HHS mandate, a federal judge has granted a temporary injunction protecting a Catholic-run business.   Judge John L. Kane of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado approved the injunction on the afternoon of July 27.   He said the harm of preventing the government from enforcing Congress-approved regulations “pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon plaintiffs’ constitutional and statutory rights.”   The Alliance Defending Freedom legal group sought the injunction as part of its lawsuit on behalf of Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.   “We’re thrilled,” said Matt Bowman, legal counsel with Alliance Defending  Freedom.   “This is the first court to answer the question of whether Obamacare can be used to violate religious freedom, and the answer is ‘no,’” he told CNA July 27.   “The very first ruling on the question of religious freedom was a ruling stating that religious freedom prevails over government attempts to force believers to choose between their faith and their livelihood,” Bowman said.   Hercules Industries’ owners, William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, all identify as practicing Catholics. The mandate would have affected the self-insured company’s health plan when it renews on Nov. 1. Under the HHS mandate, companies that refuse to comply face fines of $100 per day, per employee. For a company like Hercules Industries, which employs 300 people, those fines could be millions of dollars each year.   The company and its owners challenged the Department of Health and Human Services rule requiring employers’ health plans to cover sterilization, contraception, and abortion-causing drugs as preventive care for women.   The mandate’s narrow religious exemption does not include many Catholic health systems, charities and colleges, despite Catholic objections to covering the procedures and drugs. It also does not apply to secular businesses.   Bowman said that although the mandate only protects the Newland family and their business, it sets an example for other legal challenges already underway.   “Every judge in these cases is going to look at what other judges said,” Bowman explained.   “The reasoning behind the injunction is that every American, including family business owners, is entitled to practice their faith without the government forcing them to violate their beliefs or face heavy fines or penalties.” Judge Kane said the government’s arguments against the injunction are “countered, and indeed outweighed, by the public interest in the free exercise of religion.” He cited a Tenth Circuit Court ruling which said that there is a “strong public interest in the free exercise of religion” even where that interest may conflict with another statutory scheme. Michael Norton, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said the lawsuit is “very important” because it determines “whether family-o.......