How did we know this was eventually going to happen? First you've got the churches suing over the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and now, a business is doing the same thing. Last week, a judge ruled against the mandate, at least temporarily and now we've got HuckaJesus bringing on the Colorado business owner and lying about the mandate paying for abortions.
Here's what happened last week: Federal Court Rules Against Birth Control Mandate:
A federal court on Friday ruled against the Obama administration’s birth control mandate, the first court to side with its opponents. The decision isn’t final, but the move could represent a breakthrough for conservatives determined to overturn the regulation made possible by the Affordable Care Act.
A federal district judge in Colorado issued a temporary injunction permitting Hercules Industries, an air-conditioning company based in the state, not to abide by the rule until the courts reach a decision on the merits of the case. The business owner, a Catholic who opposes contraception, argued that the mandate violates his religious liberty.
Carter-appointed Judge John Kane ruled (PDF) that Hercules raised serious enough questions about the validity of the mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to be given injunctive relief. The 1993 law says the government may not “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” — that laws that clash with religious freedoms be justified by compelling government interest and be narrowly tailored to meet that interest.
Kane made it clear that the temporary injunction only applies to Hercules.
“This injunction is, however, premised upon the alleged substantial burden on Plaintiffs’ free exercise of religion — not to any alleged burden on any other party’s free exercise of religion,” he wrote in his opinion. “It does not enjoin enforcement of the preventive care coverage mandate against any other party.”
Numerous entities have unsuccessfully sued to block the contraception rule. The Colorado court’s move could yet be anticlimactic if it ends up validating the requirement on the merits. But if not, the ruling portends a series of legal fights that might end up in the Supreme Court.
So naturally Huckabee brought the guy on Fox along with his lawyer to lie to his audience and tell them he was going to be forced to pay for "abortion-inducing" drugs. And his attorney is from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which recently changed its name in July of this year. They were formerly called the Alliance Defense Fund and Media Matters has more on them here from back in 2005: What is the Alliance Defense Fund, and why does Bill O'Reilly advocate donating to it? :
On the October 11 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Bill O'Reilly spoke with a caller who asked "[h]ow do people like me ... fight people like" the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). O'Reilly replied: "Well, you fight them by giving money to the Alliance Defense Fund [ADF] out in Phoenix, Arizona. Alliance Defense Fund is set up to be the anecdote [sic] to the ACLU. They come in and fight them in court. So while the left wing donates to the ACLU, traditional Americans [can donate to the ADF] -- and you don't have to be conservative. You see, a lot of liberals don't like this ACLU."
Despite O'Reilly's characterization of the ADF as a group that non-conservatives might want to support, the organization was founded by influential leaders of the Christian Right to pursue a conservative political agenda.
ADF is classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity. According to the ADF website, the group is "a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation." ADF defines this "Truth" according to a conservative Christian template, characterizing itself as "a servant organization that provides the resources that will keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel through the legal defense and advocacy of religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and traditional family values."
ADF lists as its founders several prominent leaders of the Christian Right:
- James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family.
- D. James Kennedy, founder of Coral Ridge Ministries.
- The late William R. Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.
- The late Larry Burkett, co-founder of Crown Financial Ministries, which teaches followers to "learn, apply, and teach God's financial principles so they may know Christ more intimately, be free to serve Him, and help fund the Great Commission."
- The late Marlin Maddoux, former host of Point of View, which claims to be America's "most popular live Christian call-in show," and founder of the conservative USA Radio Network.
ADF is currently led by president, CEO, and general counsel Alan E. Sears, who held numerous positions in the Reagan administration including director of the attorney general's commission on pornography and assistant U.S. attorney in the Department of Justice. Sears is also a columnist for conservative websites Townhall.com and WorldNetDaily.com. He has co-authored two books with Craig J. Osten, the ADF's vice president of presidential communications and research: The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2005) and The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today (Broadman & Holman, 2003). In The Homosexual Agenda, Sears and Osten write:
Unfortunately, if many homosexual activists have their way, Christ's message of redemptive love will be silenced and those who share it through the preaching of the uncensored words of Scripture will be punished. ...The effort of homosexual activists to convince Americans to tolerate (i.e., "affirm") homosexual behavior tramples religious freedom and leaves a trail of broken bodies in the dust.
More there so go read the rest. You can read their Wiki page here: Alliance Defending Freedom.
And here's their site's page on the case, with such flame throwing headlines as "Hercules shows strength, halts Obama abortion pill mandate."
This is the same group who were happy to give that lying wingnut and anti-Planned Parenthood crusader, Lila Rose free legal help. I would be shocked if they're charging Newland to represent him.
He was going on about how much the fines could cost him if he refused to offer the insurance coverage to his employees. They failed to point out that covering contraception saves money, so if he paid for the coverage, he'd actually be coming out ahead. And if you read the attached PDF file in the link at the TPM post, it seems he and his fellow business owners just decided to make their so-called Christian values part of their company policy a year and a half ago. Seems as though they did it exactly for the purpose of being able to sue over the health care law. Who wants to bet they didn't get some help from ADF in setting that up prior to the suit as well? Here's the portion of the document where it discusses that (emphasis mine):
Although Hercules is a for-profit, secular employer, the Newlands adhere to the Catholic denomination of the Christian faith. According to the Newlands, “they seek to run Hercules in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs” Amended Complaint (doc. 19) at ¶ 2.
Thus, for the past year and a half the Newlands have implemented within Hercules a program designed to build their corporate culture based on Catholic principles. Id. at ¶ 36. Hercules recently made two amendments to its articles of incorporation, which reflect the role of religion in its corporate governance: (1) it added a provision specifying that its primary purposes are to be achieved by “following appropriate religious, ethical or moral standards,” and (2) it added a provision allowing members of its board of directors to prioritize those “religious, ethical or moral standards” at the expense of profitability. Id. at ¶ 112.
Furthermore, Hercules has donated significant amounts of money to Catholic organizations and causes. Id. at ¶ 35.
According to Plaintiffs, Hercules maintains a self-insured group plan for its employees
“[a]s part of fulfilling their organizational mission and Catholic beliefs and commitments.” Id. at
¶¶ 37. Significantly, because the Catholic church condemns the use of contraception, Hercules
self-insured plan does not cover abortifacent drugs, contraception, or sterilization. Id. at ¶ 41.
Hercules’ health insurance plan is not “grandfathered” under the ACA. Furthermore, notwithstanding the Newlands’ religious beliefs, as a secular, for-profit corporation, Hercules does not qualify as a “religious employer” within the meaning of the preventive care regulations. Nor may it seek refuge in the enforcement “safe harbor.” Accordingly, Hercules will be required to either include no-cost coverage for contraception in its group health plan or face monetary penalties. Faced with a choice between complying with the ACA or complying with their religious beliefs, Plaintiffs filed the instant suit challenging the women’s preventive care coverage mandate as violative of RFRA, the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Administrative Procedure Act.
I'm no attorney, but it doesn't look like they specifically cite being forced to pay for abortion as the reason they should be exempt from the law. They cite birth control from what I can make of the legal mumbo-jumbo.
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