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Becket Fund: Today the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a lawsuit on behalf ofBelmont Abbey College, a Catholic liberal arts college founded by Benedictine monks, against the administration’s HHS mandate.
WorldNetDaily: When the new Health and Human Services abortifacient mandate deadline passes in 2014, Belmont Abbey College will not be accepting or participating in anything contrary to the Catholic Christian faith, confirmed its president, William K. Thierfelder.
Deciding Who Gets Religious Freedom: The Latest HHS “Accommodation” | Matthew J. Franck at Public Discourse
Matthew J. Franck at Public Discourse: In the latest proposed version of the HHS mandate, the government presumes to say which employers get religious freedom and how much they get, but all religious employers are obligated to live out their beliefs and should have the freedom to do so.
National Catholic Register: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, a coalition of Christian attorneys formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, told the Register that the Dec. 18 ruling shows that religious nonprofits have standing “to protect themselves from bureaucrats that are attacking their religious freedom.” “It shows that federal bureaucrats who are trying to pick and choose what faith is and who can practice faith cannot do so without oversight to ensure they don’t trample on religious freedom,” said Bowman.
Federal Appeals Court Hands Victory to Religious Colleges, Commands HHS to Act Quickly to Fix Mandate | Becket Fund
Becket Fund: Today, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. handed Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College a major victory in their challenges to the HHS mandate. Last summer, two lower courts had dismissed the Colleges’ cases as premature. Today, the appellate court reinstated those cases, and ordered the Obama Administration to report back every 60 days—starting in mid-February—until the Administration makes good on its promise to issue a new rule that protects the Colleges’ religious freedom.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: Judges on the D.C. Circuit Court, the first appeals court to hear a case against the new federal health care law’s mandate for free birth control and other reproductive health services, went searching on Friday for some way to make sure that the government does not delay in issuing a final order on who has to obey that mandate. At a hearing that lasted more than twice the scheduled time, an apparent majority of the three-judge panel left the impression that they would not push for an early court ruling on the constitutionality of that requirement, even while showing some sympathy for the plight of religious colleges that complain it will interfere with their faith beliefs.
Baptist Press: The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief filed Oct. 12 that asked a federal appeals court to reverse the dismissal of two lawsuits against the controversial requirement under the 2010 health care law. The brief supports challenges by Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school in suburban Chicago, and Belmont Abbey College, a Roman Catholic institution in North Carolina, to the mandate that employers provide workers with health insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs.
NC Register: However, that line of thinking threatens religious freedom by trying to separate the right to worship from the right to order one’s life according to one’s conscience and religious convictions, said Matt Bowman, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a coalition of Christian attorneys representing the Newland family. Alliance Defending Freedom was formerly called the Alliance Defense Fund.
LifeNews: A federal judge has dismissed another lawsuit filed against the Obama HHS mandate that forces religious groups to pay for or refer women for abortion-causing drugs and birth control. This comes after another federal judge tossed another lawsuit earlier this week.
Wall Street Journal: Judge James E. Boasberg said that Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, the first plaintiff to challenge the rule, had “no basis to proceed now.” The judge wrote that it was too soon to say that the Obama administration’s compromise wouldn’t address their concerns and that he favored “deferring review until the agency’s position on exemptions to the contraceptive-coverage requirement is settled.“
National Right to Life News: The state shouldn’t punish people of faith for making decisions in accordance with their faith,” said Gregory Baylor, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which filed the lawsuit. “Every American should know that …
SCOTUSblog: In the Obama Administration’s first formal response to constitutional challenges to the new birth control mandate, Justice Department lawyers have argued that the federal courts should stay on the sidelines of the dispute at least until a new attempt at compromise is finally worked out, more than a year from now
Becket Fund: Today, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of Belmont Abbey College over the “Affordable Care Act” (aka “Obamacare”), that forces the College to violate its deeply-held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine.