The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to examine the constitutionality of Obamacare in regard to the employer mandate and religious freedom.
Last week's issue of this newsletter reported that, regardless of how the 4th Circuit rules, Obamacare will likely be re-considered by the Supreme Court during 2013.
Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia filed suit, Liberty University v. Geithner, against Obamacare immediately after it was signed into law in 2010. But in 2011, a panel of the 4th Circuit ruled 2-1 that the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) prevented the appeals court from addressing the merits of the case.
However, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate in NFIB v Sebelius, it did not rule on the employer mandate and did not consider the issue of freedom of religion.
However, the Court did rule 9 to 0 that AIA did not prevent a challenge to Obamacare.
As a result, Liberty University asked the Supreme Court to vacate the ruling of the 4th Circuit and send the case back to the appeals court to consider the employer mandate and its effect on freedom of religion. The U.S. Department of Justice did not object.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court granted the request.
Politico notes, "The Fourth Circuit, which traditionally moves quickly, could hear oral arguments in the case next spring."
Mat Staver (pictured), Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of the Liberty University School of Law, commented:
"I am very pleased with the High Court's ruling. Today's ruling breathes new life into our challenge to Obamacare. Our fight against Obamacare is far from over. Congress exceeded its power by forcing every employer to provide federally mandated insurance.
"But even more shocking is the abortion mandate, which collides with religious freedom and the rights of conscience."
We applaud the Supreme Court for reconsidering Liberty University's claim and open the door for a second look at Obamacare's attack on religious freedom…
Our tax dollars should not be used to pay for someone else's contraception or abortion-inducing drugs, and no employer should be forced to provide insurance plans which offer services in violation of their religious conscience.
Last week's issue of this newsletter reported that several other courts have recently ruled against Obamacare because of its violations of freedom of religion.
In addition to constitutional considerations, Edward Whelan, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in an article in the Notre Dame Law Review, examined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate versus the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
Whelan wrote in part, "What I do find remarkable--even amazing--is that the HHS mandate is so clearly unlawful. In particular, the HHS mandate violates the federal RFRA."
The violation of RFRA is so blatant, Whelan wondered what legal advice, if any, HHS received from its own lawyers and the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel.
LifeSiteNews states, "Protestant and Jewish clergy have joined the Catholic hierarchy over the last two years to fend off any law that infringes on the practice of their religion."
The Supreme Court may ultimately decide that the HHS regulations are unlawful for both statutory and constitutional reasons and that Obamacare may not be enforced in a manner that violates the freedom of religion of individuals or employers.
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The previous issue of What's Happening with Conservatives and the Tea Party: Obama Received 5.3 Million Less Votes This Year Than He Did in 2008
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