Obama administration retreating from contraception mandate?

posted at 12:41 pm on May 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

At least in one instance, and it’s an important one.  Last November, Tyndale House Publishers won a third injunction against the Department of Health and Human Services to block enforcement of the HHS mandate, while the Obama administration took the absurd position that a publisher of Bibles didn’t qualify for a religious exemption.  Yesterday, HHS threw in the towel, at least for now:

In a huge victory for pro-life advocates taking on the controversial HHS mandate, the Obama administration is giving up its effort to force a Bible publisher to obey it.

The mandate has generated massive opposition from pro-life groups because it forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

The Obama administration opposed an order a judge gave temporarily stopping enforcement, arguing that Tyndale House Publishers isn’t religious enough for an exemption from the mandate, a component of ObamaCare that forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

Now, at the Obama administration’s request, a federal appellate court Friday dismissed the Obama administration’s appeal of an order that stopped President Barack Obama from enforcing his abortion pill mandate against a Bible publisher. The administration’s retreat marks the first total appellate victory on a preliminary injunction in any abortion pill mandate case.

Yes, but let’s emphasize the word temporary here.  The fight was over an injunction issued in federal court preventing HHS from enforcing the mandate while the court considered the lawsuit. Courts don’t usually impose such injunctions unless (a) substantial harm will occur while the case is being heard and (b) the petitioner has a good chance of winning on the merits.  All that has happened here is that the Obama administration has decided to stop fighting over the temporary order.

That’s not inconsequential, even if it isn’t a total victory.  In effect, they’re tacitly admitting that the order does substantial harm and that the petitioner has a case, even if the long-term effects of that admission are mostly political.

Tyndale’s partner in the case, Alliance for Freedom, cheers the decision while emphasizing that the case will still move forward — and needs to do so for other business owners forced to obey a mandate that infringes on their own religious scruples:

“Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “The government dismissed its appeal because it knows how ridiculous it sounds arguing that a Bible publisher isn’t religious enough to qualify as a religious employer. For the government to say that a Bible publisher isn’t religious is outrageous, and now the Obama administration has had to retreat in court.”

“We will continue to argue that the administration cannot disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom for all family business owners and must offer a comprehensive exemption to the mandate,” Bowman added. …

Friday’s order from U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit means the preliminary injunction issued by a district court in November of last year will stand while the case, Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius, moves forward.

A retreat in this instance doesn’t set a legal precedent, but it may make it more difficult in other cases for the Obama administration to argue against other temporary injunctions, especially in cases where Alliance for Freedom represents the petitioners.

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We must not stop until Obamacare is repealed entirely.

workingclass artist on May 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Obama administration retreating from contraception mandate?

When will we conservatives learn that liberals never retreat? They just look for another route to their ultimate success.

Look, Ted Kennedy is in the ground and his minions are STILL TO THIS DAY preaching his open border policy.

dirtseller on May 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

one small step

cmsinaz on May 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Another point – Obama/Sibelius consider 26 year olds to be children, on Obama’care’, but 15 year olds to be grown ups for “day after”…

The US under Obama is a surreal latrine.

Obama killed the last shred of decency for the land.

OT – the scumhag is on the ticket twice in SC.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM

I wonder what the impact will be on the Hobby Lobby situation?

worldtvlr on May 7, 2013 at 12:50 PM

The election is over. The stupid rabid females who are single issue voters on abortion are no longer as valuable a commidity considering that the full HHS mandate will not survive lawsuits centered on religious freedom.

In short the gals did what they were supposed to do by pulling the lever for the rat-eared bastard and his concern over their private parts. That position is now more flexible.

Happy Nomad on May 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM

It’s okay, if this all blows up in the Dems faces they’ll just blame……THE REPUBLICANS.

…..and the Media will help them, and the gop leadership will be mealy mouthed about it and will probably SUPPORT LEGISLATION to continue to fund it……..BUT get no credit.

PURGE THE gop!!!

PappyD61 on May 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Lets pass a law saying that abortions can only be performed with a parents firearm. Oh and set the maximum fee of $1.00 that can be charged for the abortion. There that ought to make some liberal minds explode.

meci on May 7, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Speaking of purging the gop…..

Here’s a couple that need to go.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/may/07/keeping-it-in-play-corker-joins-obama-for-golf/

WASHINGTON — Just weeks after breaking bread with President Barack Obama during a rare dinner at a fancy restaurant near the White House, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker scored another rare invitation on Monday: A chance to golf with the commander-in-chief.

The Chattanooga Republican was one of three senators invited to play golf with Obama — an invitation usually extended only to the president’s closest advisers and friends.

And the golf summit pays off already:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/07/3384667/corker-us-moving-closer-to-arming.html

WASHINGTON — A Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is predicting the U.S. will soon be “arming the rebels” seeking to overthrow Syria’s Bashar Assad.

Tennessee’s Bob Corker says “it’s time for to begin changing” the balance of power in the 2-year-old civil war.

The Obama administration said last week it was rethinking its opposition to arming the rebels.

Corker and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, joined President Barack Obama and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall for golf Monday. Corker tells “CBS This Morning” political issues were discussed but said the partners agreed not to publicly reveal the conversation.

PappyD61 on May 7, 2013 at 12:58 PM

the Obama administration took the absurd position that a publisher of Bibles didn’t qualify for a religious exemption.

Who wants to bet that the publisher of “Dreams From My Father” got a waiver?

CurtZHP on May 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Excellent point. The progressive tries to make all children a possession of the collective state, separating them from their parents and ending the family structure, deprive them of a real childhood by hypersexualizing them, but keeping them adolescents, readily and easily malleable, for as long as possible, which is, at least to this point, age 26 codified in law.

Make no mistake. The push to legalize cannabis, and, with some, all drugs, is a means to keep not only the youth malleable and easily misled, but a good portion of the electorate as well.

The Romans gave the masses ‘bread and circuses’ to keep them mollified, distracted, and thereby easily managed…the progressives hand them welfare, sex, and drugs.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Corker tells “CBS This Morning” political issues were discussed but said the partners agreed not to publicly reveal the conversation.

“Say Bob, I’m going to need some help on that Syrian thing, and maybe a little push from you on ObamaCare funding and Immigration…..I can count on you, right?”

“Yes, sir Mr. President.”

Why does the gop even exist anymore?

PappyD61 on May 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

The Romans gave the masses ‘bread and circuses’ to keep them mollified, distracted, and thereby easily managed…the progressives hand them welfare, sex, and drugs.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Rome lasted much longer.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

readily and easily malleable, for as long as possible, which is, at least to this point, age 26 codified in law.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

But they can die for their country at 18, and not drink until 21, be children on Oaf’care’ and grown ups at 15 for the day after pill.

Leftist ‘logic’ defies everything.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Why does the gop even exist anymore?

PappyD61 on May 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

To be ridiculed and laughed out of town, the sooner, the better.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Obama administration retreating from contraception mandate?

Perhaps not. This route being so difficult, another route will be found to get to the desired destination.

Its FOWARD! for Barry, never retreat.

hawkeye54 on May 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Leftist ‘logic’ defies everything.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Logic in quotes indeed. It’s all about developing a culture of government dependency and “security” from womb to tomb, isn’t it?

For reference just skim the recent college speech by the World’s Greatest Orator.

He can speechify all he wants to but I’ll never love Big Brother.

Drained Brain on May 7, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

The Romans believed in a strong military, a well ordered society, and were smart enough to develop, adopt, and/or co-opt the greatest thinkers regarding the definition, operation, and function, of a republic as their own.

Eventually, political and personal corruption from the Emperor on down, excess and indolence among the members of the political class and their immediate circles, an economic system based on constant physical growth, trying to absorb too many cultures, races, and ethnic groups far too quickly, and rampant greed, ended the Roman Empire.

The parallel is stunning.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

You know what we need? A religion* that says it’s a sin to be forced to pay for anything for other people. Obviously it would have to be worded such that transactions could take place, and still allow taxation for the purposes of paying people who do a job (like the military), but it would have to exclude all compulsory charity or benefits.

“I’m sorry, welfare and compulsory non-cash benefits are against my religion. I can’t follow the mandate at all. Heck, I can’t even participate in the exchanges because it’s compulsory.”

We could make it work like the FreeMasons**, where you can supposedly keep your regular religion, but we impose this one extra legal demand on adherents. Well, maybe a non-nude February plunge in the nearest body of water, just to keep out the non-serious applicants.

Who’s with me?

* Preferably this religion would have lots of minority members, maybe even founded by a black lesbian socialist illegal alien, just so the left has to squirm a little more.

** Don’t start on FreeMasons. This is just an example based on what they publicly say. No debating FreeMasonry based on this comment, or I will crawl through the internet and glue your keyboard keys down.

GWB on May 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Drained Brain on May 7, 2013 at 1:11 PM

‘Logic’, in single quotes, always. They possess none.

“From diapers to Depends” –leftist logo

p.s. he can’t speak, never, not even with the prompter.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM

The parallel is stunning.

thatsafactjack on May 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Indeed, indeed…the US declines much faster…technology/communication and all related…Obama made it exponential.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Friday’s a big day for dumping bad news…no wonder the Regime picked Friday to drop their poorly-considered, anti-religion lawsuit.

olesparkie on May 7, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Shaping up to be another bad week for Barry.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

GarandFan on May 7, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Indeed, indeed…the US declines much faster…technology/communication and all related…Obama made it exponential.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2013 at 1:16 PM

A big part of that is the ability to much more quickly disseminate the bread – EBT cards and such.

GWB on May 7, 2013 at 1:25 PM

What would a poor Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies major, who was left without the life skills to best match a religion with her belief system, to do?

Sugar Daddy in Chief, don’t let these poor Democrat women down.

MNHawk on May 7, 2013 at 2:22 PM

They won’t give up on this. They know they are on the wrong side of the law but they are not doing this to get free contraceptives. They’re doing it to get otherwise unmotivated young women to vote.
It’s a wedge issue. It worked a treat for Obama in 2012. They are keeping their powder dry for a big push in the war on women in 2014.

breffnian on May 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Anyone who thinks Obama will give up on this is a fool. He has proved that he thinks he is smarter than anyone and vengeance will be his. Don’t worry about his image though because the pess will line up behind any excuses he gives or they make up.

Pardonme on May 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM