Michigan Files Lawsuit Against Unconstitutional Obama Health Care Mandate
John Sellek or Joy Yearout 517-373-8060Agency:
- Michigan Attorney
General Bill Schuette today announced Michigan has filed a lawsuit to defend
religious liberty and challenge the unconstitutional health care mandate that
forces religious schools, non-profits and employers to violate their religious
and faith-based beliefs by providing insurance plans that cover services that
conflict with those beliefs.
liberty is America's first freedom," said Schuette. "Constitutional rights
cannot be finessed. Religious liberty cannot be compromised.
regulation or law that forces faith-based institutions to provide for services
that violate their free exercise of religion, or that penalizes them for failing
to kneel at the altar of government, is a flat-out violation of the First
The lawsuit filed
today is in response to recently announced Obamacare regulations that force
thousands of religious organizations to violate their deepest beliefs by
mandating what the organizations must include in their employee health plans, or
face steep government fines. Although the Obama administration has provided
thousands of exemptions for other groups, including many large corporations, it
has persistently refused to give the same accommodation to religious
organizations exercising their First Amendment freedoms.
that Michigan continues its leadership in organizing the multi-state effort to
support the three lawsuits previously filed by The Becket Fund for Religious
Liberty on behalf of two colleges and a religious broadcasting network
challenging onerous administrative health care regulations.
Schuette's office will coordinate the drafting and filing of a
multi-state amicus brief in defense of religious liberty for the three cases.
On January 20,
2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would not change its mandate
forcing religious employers to purchase and provide health care services that
violate their religious beliefs and moral convictions. The decision was
announced in spite of concerns expressed by a wide spectrum of religious leaders
lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska and
Michigan is joined by six states in the effort:
Florida, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Also
joining the litigation are
The Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America, Catholic Social Services, and two
The Becket Fund
cases challenging the rule are Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius,
Colorado Christian College v. Sebelius, and Eternal World Television
Network v. Sebelius. A briefing schedule has not yet been issued in those
cases yet, but Michigan expects to file its briefs later this year.
efforts to challenge the unconstitutional Obamacare mandate are the latest steps
to defend religious liberty for Michigan citizens:
In 2011, Schuette joined The Becket
Fund to file an
amicus brief on behalf of seven other states in support of religious liberty
in a significant case involving the right of religious organizations to manage
their religious employees without government interference. In January 2010, the
U.S. Supreme Court unanimously (9-0) upheld the right of religious organizations
to manage their religious employees without government interference in
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission et al.
Schuette also filed an amicus brief in
support of Julea Ward, a former Eastern Michigan University student who is suing
the university in federal court for violating her constitutional rights after
she was dismissed from a graduate counseling program due to her religious
beliefs. On January 27, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th
District agreed Ward had a right to trial and reversed the lower court ruling
dismissing her case.