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Monday, November 12, 2012

Second Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Halting Enforcement Of Obamacare's HHS Mandate

By Susan Duclos

Lost in the shuffle of the presidential election was a ruling on October 31, 2012, where a second case out of nearly 40 filed in the courts against Obamacare's HHS Mandate, was granted a preliminary injunction halting the enforcement of Obamacare’s "conscience-crushing contraception mandate."

The latest preliminary injunction ruling will be embedded at the bottom of the post.

The first preliminary injunction was issued in July 2012, Newland v. Sebelius, via Heritage:

At issue in this case is whether family business owners like the Newlands remain free to operate the businesses they built in accordance with their religious convictions or whether they can be forced by the government to violate their faith in order to keep afloat.

The HHS mandate requires nearly all employers to offer contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drug coverage free of charge to their employees, regardless of their religious or moral opposition to doing so. The court order prevents the Obama Administration from forcing Hercules to comply with the conscience-crushing mandate while the lawsuit continues.

While the court order is limited to Hercules and does not relieve other family businesses or the many religious non-profits with moral objections from having to comply with the mandate’s burden, Judge Kane’s analysis offers hope that their pleas for the restoration of their religious liberty will get a fair hearing.

In granting the injunction, Judge Kane weighed the burden imposed by the mandate on the Newlands’ religious freedom against the government’s stated interest in enforcing it, opining that the harm to the government from non-enforcement “pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon [the Newlands’] constitutional and statutory rights.”

The second ruling in favor of religious freedom and first amendment rights was on October 31, 2012, Legatus v. Sebelius, was filed by Weingartz Supply Company and U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland issued a preliminary injunction which barred the Obama administration from taking any action against Weingartz Supply Co., which has over 150 employees.

“Violation of a First Amendment right in itself constitutes irreparable harm,” even for a brief period, the judge said.

First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

 While both are just preliminary injunctions, they do prevent the Obama administration from enforcing the HHS mandate on the two companies and give hope for the more than three dozen cases still pending.

See: List of Cases (in chronological order) 

Related: Catholics Make History With Religious Freedom Lawsuits

The Legatus v. Sebelius  preliminary injunction embedded below:

Legatus v. Sebelius