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CEI: By June 2015, the Supreme Court will rule on the issue of Obamacare insurance exchange subsidies in King v. Burwell, a case that could have significant ramifications for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
NC Register: President Barack Obama is addressing the future of health care at the Catholic Health Association’s annual assembly today. The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) has had a tense relationship with the Catholic Church since its passing in 2009 and subsequent implementation. The controversy has centered especially on the provision of contraceptives in health-insurance plans and a lack of the “robust conscience” protections promised by the president prior to the law’s passing.
LA Times: In a potentially historic ruling, the court will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide, culminating a two-decade legal and political fight for same-sex marriage.
National Law Journal (Access via Google): U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer in Washington cast a skeptical eye Thursday over the Justice Department’s effort to keep the House of Representatives’ health care suit out of court.
Western Journalism: Erik Stanley, author and Senior Legal Counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund [sic], explained the Johnson Amendment was a bill that got inserted into the tax code through back-room deals made by a powerful Senator seeking reelection at any cost. As a result of the bill, freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion have been trampled.
USA Today: The Chinese government had a problem. Faced with rising discontent over its repressive rule in the largely Muslim province of Xinjiang, the government wanted to find a way to weaken Islam in the region. But how does a government weaken a religion?
Lozier Institute: In the months leading up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “ObamaCare”), a number of pro-life policy analysts expressed concern that the legislation could increase the incidence of abortion.
Crux: With lawsuits from religious groups against certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act winding their way through the courts, one organization has a message for Catholics concerned about being forced to pay for plans that include contraception: Opt out of the insurance game altogether.
National Right to Life: On Wednesday, the State Senate overwhelmingly approved on third reading Senate Bill 575 by Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) that reforms insurance coverage of abortion.
The evolution of the contraceptive mandate and the ‘accommodations’ that failed to respect protected conscience rights
Constituting America: At issue in these cases were HHS regulations drafted under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, popularly known as “Obamacare.” In that act, Congress generally requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer group health insurance coverage that provides a minimum level of essential coverage. Heavy fines may be levied on an employer that fails to comply with the law’s coverage requirements, including “preventive care and screenings” for women to be provided at no cost to employees.
Life News: The Supreme Court issued an order today preventing the Obama administration from forcing a Catholic group in Michigan to obey the HHS mandate that requires them to pay for abortion-causing drugs for their employees.
Constituting America: Freedom of conscience is so important it is enshrined in the very first amendment to the United States Constitution. And our Founding Fathers thought freedom from government coercion so vital that they built it into the very structure of our government. Power is split between three coequal branches – legislative, executive, and judicial – to keep dictatorial officials like Herr Zeller in check.
Trib Live: “We’re cautiously optimistic that Justice Alito will grant one to us as well,” said Gregory Baylor of Alliance Defending Freedom, the Washington-based law firm representing Geneva College.
The Becket Fund: For the fifth time in a row, the Supreme Court has stopped the federal government’s contraceptive mandate. In an order issued last night, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito prevented the federal government from enforcing its contraceptive mandate against a range of Pennsylvania-based religious organizations including Catholic Charities and other Catholic schools and social service organizations connected with the Diocese of Erie and the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Houston Public Media: The plaintiffs in Texas include religious universities and a seminary, and some Catholic dioceses. The suit is one of several across the country that involve the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that if employers provide health insurance, they have to include coverage of contraception for women.
The Becket Fund: Moments ago, two Texas Baptist universities were heard in court over their religious objection to the HHS Mandate. The universities won a victoryat the district court in December 2013 from which the government now appeals.
Life News: Alliance Defending Freedom asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit Monday to hear the case of Pennsylvania’s Geneva College, which is challenging a three-judge panel’s ruling that would force the Christian school to provide access to abortion pills as required by an Obama administration mandate.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit Monday to hear the case of Pennsylvania’s Geneva College, which is challenging a three-judge panel’s ruling that would force the Christian school to provide access to abortion pills as required by an Obama administration mandate.
Pregnancy Help News: The federal government appears to care more about advancing its abortion agenda than it cares for the lives of sexually abused children.
The Washington Times: The IRS is unable to answer most taxpayers’ calls this year because it’s had to put money into getting up and running for Obamacare, agency Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress on Wednesday.
ERLC: The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lower court decision that originally favored the federal government today. This action revives the University of Notre Dame’s religious objection to the requirement for contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived the University of Notre Dame’s religious objections to the requirement for contraception coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, throwing out a lower court decision in favor of the federal government.
Acton Institute: Earlier today the Supreme Court threw out an appeals court decision that went against the University of Notre Dame over its religious objections to the Obamacare health law’s contraception requirement.
Life News: The Supreme Court has weighed in on the lawsuit Notre Dame filed against the HHS mandate compelling religious groups and businesses to pay for drugs for their employees that may cause abortions.
The Week: Yesterday’s oral arguments for King vs. Burwell, the latest legal challenge to ObamaCare before the Supreme Court, confirmed one thing: The law, as written, is a complete mess.
The Daily Signal: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the highly anticipated case King v. Burwell.
Time: When the Supreme Court last considered the Affordable Care Act, the argument was easy to follow: Does the federal government have the power to force people to buy health insurance?
SCOTUS Blog: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who seemed decidedly more sympathetic to the government than might have been expected, worried over a constitutional blow against the states. But even the two Justices most openly sympathetic to the challengers — Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Antonin Scalia — seemed to concede the dire consequences that could follow, by suggesting ways to alleviate it. Alito said the Court could delay its ruling to allow time to adjust, and Scalia said Congress could be counted on to fix it.
The Daily Signal: The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the case of King v. Burwell—a challenge to an IRS rule under Obamacare that provides the payment of premium subsidies to individuals enrolled in the federal exchange. Obamacare’s advocates have made various claims about the harm that would supposedly occur if the court were to find for the plaintiffs (King) in this case. While it is not surprising that those claims have attracted attention, it’s important to remember the harm being caused by Obamacare.
Red State: With abortion at stake, Arizona acknowledges that the legislature’s words matter.
US News: Another year, another Obamacare case goes before the Supreme Court. But this time, everything is upside down.
Life News: A new Congressional bill with 110 co-sponsors would stop the Obama administration’s HHS mandate, which requires religious businesses, colleges and organizations to pay for abortion-causing drugs in their employee health insurance plans.
Life Site News: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley told LifeSiteNews that the toolkits show hypocrisy on the part of the Obama administration. “The federal government only wants churches to have free speech rights if the church agrees to speak about things it thinks are acceptable,” Stanley told LifeSiteNews. “While it’s not illegal for [the Department of Health and Human Services] to ask churches to talk about ObamaCare, it is ironic considering that the federal government, through the tax code, prohibits pastors from speaking freely from the pulpit on other issues.”
One News Now: “I hope that the Supreme Court will correct courts like this that have decided that fundamental beliefs and the fundamental rights as Americans and as non-profit organizations can be violated by government schemes like ObamaCare in some effort to promote the abortion agenda,” Bowman poses.
Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty: The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals last week issued an opinion agreeing with earlier decisions of the 6th, 7th and D.C. Circuits: accommodation rules allowing religious organizations to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirement do not violate their religious freedom rights under RFRA.
The Daily Signal: Chalk up another setback for religious freedom. Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled against Geneva College and other non-profit religious employers in their challenge to the Obamacare mandate that forces employers to provide healthcare coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
National Law Journal (Access via Google): Matt Bowman, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the lawyers for the challengers in the Third Circuit case, said the organization has not decided whether to seek en banc review of the panel decision or to petition the Supreme Court.
The Weekly Standard: In an effort to sign up as many consumers as possible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), the Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to partner with churches and other faith-based groups, even publishing sample church bulletin inserts, flyers, and scripts for announcements, as well as “talking points.” These materials are part of the “Second Sunday & Faith Weekend of Action Toolkit,” which is available on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
One News Now: Open enrollment in ObamaCare is coming to a close, and while the Obama administration is celebrating what it sees as another big season, policy experts have questions.
The College Fix: The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the school, said in a statement Wednesday it was “seriously considering” appealing the ruling.
Catholic Education Daily: Senior Counsel Gregory Baylor stated in the organization’s press release: All Americans should oppose unjust laws that force people – under threat of punishment – to give up their fundamental freedoms and act contrary to their beliefs. That’s why we are seriously considering appeal of the 3rd Circuit’s decision. Geneva College simply wants to abide by the Christian faith it espouses and teaches instead of being forced into an unacceptable inconsistency by the government. The administration has no business punishing people of faith for making decisions consistent with that faith.
National Law Journal (Subscription Required): Challenges by religious nonprofits to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act have reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and more are expected as federal appellate courts soon will rule on a wave of pending cases.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor: “All Americans should oppose unjust laws that force people – under threat of punishment – to give up their fundamental freedoms and act contrary to their beliefs. That’s why we are seriously considering appeal of the 3rd Circuit’s decision. Geneva College simply wants to abide by the Christian faith it espouses and teaches instead of being forced into an unacceptable inconsistency by the government. The administration has no business punishing people of faith for making decisions consistent with that faith.”
Red State: Insofar as I know, no constitutional issue has been raised, briefed or argued in King v. Burwell in any of the courts below; so this may all be too much to hope for. But now that the Supreme Court has accepted certiorari, here is an entry from that perhaps-too-much-to-hope-for category.
Talking Points: Of the many pro-Obamacare arguments that government lawyers are making to save the law from the Supreme Court, one stands out as particularly tailored to winning the crucial vote of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Religion Clause: In Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. v. Burwell, (MD FL, Feb. 3, 2015), a Florida federal district court granted a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of part of the latest rules accommodating religious non-profits’ objections to the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate.
News-Press: A federal ruling will allow a retirement community in Fort Myers and five other organizations to avoid providing employees with abortion-inducing drugs through their insurance plans.
Politics CheatSheet: 2015 is set to be a major year for the Supreme Court of the United States.
EWTN: The clip including our own Matt Bowman starts at 11:39.
Associated Press: Nearly five years after President Barack Obama signed his health care overhaul into law, its fate is yet again in the hands of the Supreme Court.
National Review: Yesterday, EWTN, founded by Mother Angelica – a cloistered nun and trailblazer woman in media — was in federal court seeking religious-freedom protection from his administration’s Health and Human Services abortion-drug, contraception, female sterilization mandate.
National Law Journal: Like armies mustering their best weapons, supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act once again have turned out at the U.S. Supreme Court to battle over a critical element of that health insurance law.
The Becket Fund: Minutes ago, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the global Catholic television network founded by a cloistered nun, had its religious freedom case heard in court.
Catholic News Agency: “All Americans should oppose unjust laws that allow the government to force people to surrender their constitutionally protected freedom to live and work according to their deepest beliefs,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Michael J. Norton said Jan. 27.
How the contraception mandate may spread measles: Politicizing preventative care increases public distrust
Town Hall: One of the best ways to cause distrust in public health experts is for the government to politicize science. This can be seen in contentious areas like climate change, embryo research, and the beginning of human life. Experts there have infused ideology into data and have even changed or redefined words to fit their agendas. Global warming has become “climate change,” embryos “pre-embryos,” and “conception” redefined to mean implantation.
Multichannel News: Oral argument in the Eternal Word Television Network’s challenge to the contraception mandate in the Affordable Healthcare Act is set for Feb. 4 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton: “All Americans should oppose unjust laws that allow the government to force people to surrender their constitutionally protected freedom to live and work according to their deepest beliefs. While we are very pleased with the order issued in this case, many other similar cases continue throughout the country. In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling against the abortion-pill mandate in Conestoga and Hobby Lobby, and the clearly protected right of Americans to be free from this type of government coercion at home, in their family businesses, and in non-profit endeavors that benefit everyone, the Obama administration should give up its blind and indefensible efforts to punish people of faith and let freedom prevail.”
Biola Magazine: The court’s 5–4 decision determined that the government “substantially burdens” religious exercise, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), whenever it imposes significant pressure upon an organization to violate its religious convictions, said Gregory Baylor, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the organization representing Biola in its HHS mandate lawsuit.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Greg Baylor believes this issue will eventually wind up before the Supreme Court.
Congressman Chris Smith Press Release: Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) and over 75 Members of Congress have filed a comment letter with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) opposing the abortion aspects of the proposed rule on “HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016” for the Obamacare marketplace.
The Christian Post: Washington, D.C., passed a bill that attempts to counter a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing for closely-held businesses to be exempted from the federal birth control mandate.
Life News: At the time of the Supreme Court’s decision, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman told LifeNews: “Americans don’t surrender their freedom by opening a family business. In its decision, the Supreme Court affirmed that all Americans, including family business owners, must be free to live and work consistently with their beliefs without fear of punishment by the government. In a free and diverse society, we respect the freedom to live out our convictions. For the Hahns and the Greens, that means not being forced to participate in distributing potentially life-terminating drugs and devices.”
Breitbart: “We liked our insurance plan and wanted to keep it, but couldn’t because it was cancelled due to Obamacare,” Bracy told Breitbart News during an interview that included his attorney, Senior Counsel Casey Mattox of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represented the family in the lawsuit.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Greg Baylor, who made the arguments, says the mandate forces religious organizations to give up their fundamental beliefs.
The Christian Post: A watchdog group has revealed that the Department of Health and Human Services is marginalizing its own ethics body for pointing out that its controversial study of premature babies failed to disclose foreseeable risks of blindness, neurological damage and death to babies.
WXOW (AP): In the latest religious challenge to the federal health care law, faith-based organizations that object to covering birth control in their employee health plans argued in federal appeals court Monday that the government hasn’t gone far enough to ensure they don’t have to violate their beliefs.
Breitbart: No, Gruber’s abortion advocacy is of a particularly pungent eugenics variety. He’s on record repeatedly making the case from social science that abortion is a “social good” because it reduces the number of “marginal children,” by which he means urban poor—those he says can be counted on to commit crimes if they were ever born.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument Monday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on behalf of four Christian universities in Oklahoma, which filed suit in 2013 against the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate.