At the eleventh hour, literally, the Supreme Court dealt a significant blow to ObamaCare’s HHS Mandate.
The mandate was set to force a group of Catholic nuns to pay for abortion pills. If that’s not an unbelievably obtrusive abuse of executive power and a trampling of religious liberty, I don’t know what is.
Late New Years Eve, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an emergency stay, temporarily blocking application of the HHS Mandate to the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged.
Justice Sotomayor’s order simply stated:
IT IS ORDERED that respondents are temporarily enjoined from enforcing against applicants the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 U. S. C. § 300gg-13(a)(4), and related regulations pending the receipt of a response and further order of the undersigned or of the Court.
The Obama Justice Department has until tomorrow morning to respond to this temporary injunction.
The fact that the Supreme Court agreed to block the mandate from affecting this Christian charity is unsurprising, and the right move legally. The Supreme Court has already granted two Mandate cases, both of which are operating under an injunction. In other words, the Supreme Court is already considering several mandate cases and the mandate will not be enforced while the court is considering those cases, so the Court here is extending that to this case as well.
It will, however, be very interesting to see how the Obama Administration responds. There have been some cases around the country where they have essentially allowed temporary injunctions to go unopposed in some jurisdictions.
The most telling aspect of this particular injunction is that it is protecting a religious non-profit, groups for which the Obama Administration claimed it provided an “accommodation.” As I have explained in detail before, this “accommodation” of religious liberty is a legal sham, an accounting gimmick, in attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of people of faith.
This ruling is just another blow to ObamaCare and the HHS Mandate in a long string of Administration failures.
The Supreme Court will determine the fate of the mandate later this year. At the ACLJ, we are 7-0 in defending the religious liberty of Christian businesses from the HHS Mandate, and one of our cases is now pending before the Supreme Court. We are preparing to file an amicus brief on behalf of our clients and hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans to defeat the abortion-pill mandate once and for all. Sign your name to our Supreme Court brief today.
This article is crossposted at the ACLJ’s Docket Blog.
Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.