Federal Judge Tells Obama Administration Not To Enforce Obamacare Contraception Mandate
Obama administration Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has finalized Obamacare’s mandate regulations today, and while there is included an “accommodation” for non-profit religious institutions there is no similar accommodation for for-profit organizations.
But that doesn’t matter for now, as a federal judge has ordered the Obama administration not to enforce contraception mandate on lawsuit plaintiff Hobby Lobby as it is likely unconstitutional:
The government is “temporarily ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from any effort to apply or enforce, as to [Hobby Lobby], the substantive requirements imposed in 42 U.S.C. § 300gg-13(a)(4) and at issue in this case, or the penalties related thereto, pending a hearing on plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction,” U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ordered today. He based that ruling on the 10th Circuit Court’s conclusion that Hobby Lobby has “established a likely violation of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act].”
“Hobby Lobby and the Green family faced the terrible choice of violating their faith or paying massive fines starting this Monday morning,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who represents Hobby Lobby. “We are delighted that both the 10th Circuit and the district court have spared them from this unjust burden on their religious freedom.”
That’s good news, I guess. It seems we’re on a path toward a situation where the government can force you to “eat your broccoli” (as one federal judge in Florida put it), they can’t necessarily eat your broccoli if it violates your religious conscience.
Of course, in a free society, “I don’t want to eat my broccoli” should be good enough.