Nearly 60 plaintiffs now suing Obama administration over HHS mandate

posted at 4:01 pm on July 19, 2012 by Rob Bluey

The Obama administration is facing growing resistance to its anti-conscience mandate two weeks before the policy goes into effect. Yesterday evangelical Wheaton College announced it was joining a lawsuit against the mandate. Last week another Illinois institution, Catholic Charities of Chicago, sued the administration.

The Department of Health and Human Services mandate becomes official on Aug. 1. It requires employers to cover abortion drugs, contraception and sterilization, even if they have religious or moral objections. The administration’s so-called “accommodation” has failed to address the concerns of organizations, prompting the rash of lawsuits attempting to overturn the directive.

Wheaton College joined a lawsuit with the Catholic University of America in D.C. District Court on Wednesday. It became the fourth Protestant college to sue the government, joining Colorado Christian University, Geneva College and Louisiana College.

There are now more than 20 separate cases and nearly 60 individual plaintiffs, ranging from hospitals and universities to businesses and charities, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The group’s general counsel, Kyle Duncan, remarked on the significance of Wheaton College’s decision:

This mandate is not just a Catholic issue — it threatens people of all faiths. Wheaton’s historic decision to join the fight alongside a Catholic institution shows the broad consensus that the mandate endangers everyone’s religious liberty.

Meanwhile, not far from Wheaton’s campus, another Illinois institution also outlined its objections to the mandate. Catholic Charities of Chicago served more than 1 million people in the Chicago area last year. Many of them weren’t Catholic.

Lawrence Baker, a Vietnam veteran struggling to overcome drug addiction, “>credits the organization for turning around his life. But because of the HHS mandate, Catholic Charities of Chicago would be forced to cut back on its services.

Monsignor Michael Boland, the organization’s president and CEO, said the Obama administration wants Catholic Charities to compromise its principles:

As all of us know, Catholic Charities serves the poor because we are a Catholic organization, not because our clients are Catholic. We strongly believe at Catholic Charities that we witness our faith by our service to the poor. We ask only, “Are you hungry?” “Do you need clothing?” or “Are you homeless?” Under the HHS mandate, to be a “religious employer” we would now have to ask, “Are you Catholic?” This goes against everything that Catholic Charities stands for as an organization. Under the HHS mandate, we are punished for both employing and reaching out to serve non-Catholics, which is an injustice.

Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey


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How to avoid it.

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

…Eric Holder is laughing!

KOOLAID2 on July 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I’m going to love reading the “I hate lawyers” comments, on this thread.

Unless, of course, all of those Plaintiffs are pro se.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Force Obama, his family and the entire congress to be in it.

Otherwise, all combust, spontaneously, for forcing law upon the producers who sustain your lavish imperial life-styles, you goons.

Hoodinis and RobbingHoods, one and all!

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Watch your backs planitiffs

Oil Can on July 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Worth noting that a U.S. District Court Judge in Nebraska dismissed a lawsuit challenging the mandate on the ground that the Plaintiffs, which included several states and a handful of Catholic organizations, lacked standing and that the claims were not ripe because the mandate doesn’t go into effect until August 2013.

dmataconis on July 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Have the feds inspect their credit reports.

J.E. Dyer on July 19, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Mr.Bluey,

I don’t think you’re in any position to criticize ObamaCare given your organization’s position and involvement with RomneyCare.

Dante on July 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Sounds like a case for John Edwards.

CorporatePiggy on July 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

…Eric Holder is laughing!

KOOLAID2 on July 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

But it’s a bitter laughter :)…

jimver on July 19, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Said it once, and I’ll say it again… This Obama fellow is sure keeping lawyers employed. Guess’ it could be considered jobs saved?

fistbump on July 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Watch your backs plaintiffs

Oil Can on July 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Nice little tax exemption you have there…

slickwillie2001 on July 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Mr.Bluey,

I don’t think you’re in any position to criticize ObamaCare given your organization’s position and involvement with RomneyCare.

Dante on July 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Awww, Bluey ommitted to ask Dante to ‘validate’ his piece :)….what a massive overllook on his part :)..

jimver on July 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM

How to avoid it.

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Nice chart. Asking unanimous consent to revise and extend your remarks (to make it bigger and bluer):

http://www.noisyroom.net/blog/Obamacareflowchart2.jpg

Axe on July 19, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Mr.Bluey,

I don’t think you’re in any position to criticize ObamaCare given your organization’s position and involvement with RomneyCare.

Dante on July 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Don’t believe everything Dave Weigel and ThinkProgress tell you…

Del Dolemonte on July 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

How to avoid it.

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Thanks for the info. Now all I have to do is claim to be an illegal alien undocumented immigrant and I’ll be good to go.

sadarj on July 19, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Awww, Bluey ommitted to ask Dante to ‘validate’ his piece :)….what a massive overllook on his part :)..

jimver on July 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Yeah, but what fun would this place be without the nutballs throwing feces in all directions.

dante is especially fun because the little one works so hard to pretend he is all growed up so he can play with the big kids.

That, and he is birther numero uno.

cozmo on July 19, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Nearly 60 plaintiffs now suing Obama administration over HHS mandate
…lets all hope that traitor, fool, OBOZO tool and socialist media puppet Roberts isn’t given the opportunity to rule on this.

TeaPartyNation on July 19, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Obama administration wants Catholic Charities to compromise its principles

An administration devoid of principles will not hear your concern. 54% of Caths. hoisted the lever for Obama in ’08, you may now suffer the consequences of jumping on an emotional bandwagon and not researching his deceitfulness, voting record, associates, etc. This ruling comes to no surprise for those who practiced due diligence. You also have a choice to make in 3.5 months.

hillsoftx on July 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Didn’t a judge just throw out a case about this like yesterday because the plaintiffs lacked standing? Also, I thought it went into effect in 2013. I didn’t know it was like now. Thought they would be smart enough to try this after the election. Before? Wow. Good luck with that.

UnderstandingisPower on July 19, 2012 at 4:39 PM

This is what John Roberts gave us – 20 more years of litigation and turmoil.

PattyJ on July 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Gosh, I guess the government hates ecumenism in any form….
none-socialized charity also.

I note the strong silence about this attack on the most fundamental of all liberties coming from the so-called conservative right. Oh well. The Church has been through this before and it will gird its loins and survive. How frail liberty is when men of good will stay silent.

Don L on July 19, 2012 at 4:43 PM

An administration devoid of principles will not hear your concern. 54% of Caths. hoisted the lever for Obama in ’08, you may now suffer the consequences of jumping on an emotional bandwagon and not researching his deceitfulness, voting record, associates, etc. This ruling comes to no surprise for those who practiced due diligence. You also have a choice to make in 3.5 months.

hillsoftx on July 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM

…in 110 days!…but hey who’s counting?…not me!

KOOLAID2 on July 19, 2012 at 4:53 PM

John Roberts will uphold the mandate, being the bastard that he is. That said, it’s still worth suing over and beating the left over the head with every chance we get.

Stoic Patriot on July 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

The Cycle host Krystal Ball MSNBC – Nasty Habit of Ignoring Far-Left’s Connections to Nuns on the Bus. She had Nun on today. The Vatican is upset they are ministering to the poor according to the Nun she interviewed, it’s their mission statement after all. It’s not that the Vatican is upset over that nasty old contraception mandate part of ACA or anything like that. 59 of the nuns support ACA according to their spoke’s Nun today. That puts them in opposition to U.S. Catholic Bishops. I am pretty sure these Nuns answer to Rome, and they need to remember their vows.

Dr Evil on July 19, 2012 at 5:10 PM

As all of us know, Catholic Charities serves the poor because we are a Catholic organization, not because our clients are Catholic. We strongly believe at Catholic Charities that we witness our faith by our service to the poor. We ask only, “Are you hungry?” “Do you need clothing?” or “Are you homeless?” Under the HHS mandate, to be a “religious employer” we would now have to ask, “Are you Catholic?” This goes against everything that Catholic Charities stands for as an organization. Under the HHS mandate, we are punished for both employing and reaching out to serve non-Catholics, which is an injustice.

That is the most powerful argument against the mandate. Opponents should use this quote and/or emphasize this point in debates and ads.

aunursa on July 19, 2012 at 5:13 PM

This mandate is not just a Catholic issue — it threatens people of all faiths.

Exactly! Just wait til they pass a law that says all churches must perform homosexual weddings. Or other crap like that.

jeffn21 on July 19, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I think I must have the Cadillac plan so I don’t know what is happening to other people, can I presume I don’t have to pay more for my Cadillac plan on this date? How will people know if they are getting charged for these new Demands of the H.H.S. Secretary?

Will we pay more? Why is it that we don’t know if the date is August? I require a few months notice to make any changes.

To whom do I address my complaint?

Fleuries on July 19, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Not to worry. The Roberts Court will defend the Constitution.

locomotivebreath1901 on July 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Maybe DHHS could make a rule that Muslim food pantries can no longer throw pork away and must give it to the hungry non-Muslims even though their religous beliefs do not allow them to do so.

weaselyone on July 19, 2012 at 5:39 PM

You’ll have to pardon Barry. He has been called (derisively) “The Obamassiah”.

Evidently he’s taken that to heart in a truly narcissistic fashion. Since his worshipers (Tingles Matthews comes to mind) consider The Chosen One is “perfection”; Barry obviously believes he is a deity unto himself, and therefore a proper judge of religious doctrine.

GarandFan on July 19, 2012 at 5:43 PM

As all of us know, Catholic Charities serves the poor because we are a Catholic organization, not because our clients are Catholic. We strongly believe at Catholic Charities that we witness our faith by our service to the poor. We ask only, “Are you hungry?” “Do you need clothing?” or “Are you homeless?” Under the HHS mandate, to be a “religious employer” we would now have to ask, “Are you Catholic?”

I’m a bit confused here. Why would they have to ask the people they serve if they’re Catholic? I read the Monsignor’s piece, but I’m still unclear.

Bill Ramey on July 19, 2012 at 6:09 PM

I’m a bit confused here. Why would they have to ask the people they serve if they’re Catholic? I read the Monsignor’s piece, but I’m still unclear.

Bill Ramey on July 19, 2012 at 6:09 PM

It has to do with the argument over what’s considered a religious institution for the purposes of That One’s mandates/whims. If the organization ONLY employed Catholics and ONLY served Catholics, then it would qualify as a religious institution and be exempt from That One’s mandate. But if they serve non-Catholics (and they do), then somehow they’re no longer a religious organization.

Mr. Prodigy on July 19, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I’m a bit confused here. Why would they have to ask the people they serve if they’re Catholic? I read the Monsignor’s piece, but I’m still unclear.

Bill Ramey on July 19, 2012 at 6:09 PM

As I understand it, in order to qualify for the narrow religious exemption, the organization has to (1) employ only members of their own faith, and (2) serve only members of their own faith. So Catholic Charities would have to turn away all of the poor non-Catholics who showed up at their door for help.

toby11 on July 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

And they would have to fire all of the non-Catholic employees — but doesn’t Obama want to say they can’t do that anyway?

toby11 on July 19, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Mr. Prodigy on July 19, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Ah, I see. I didn’t realize that the issue even involves whom organizations serve, as well as whom they employ.

Bill Ramey on July 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM

I could spit on John Roberts.

Traitor.

dukecitygirl on July 19, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Not a bug – a feature.

Midas on July 19, 2012 at 7:14 PM