The Obama administration has lost yet another court case against the controversial HHS mandate that forces companies, colleges, and religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions under their employee health plans.
Today a Houston federal court delivered a major blow to the controversial HHS mandate ruling in favor of East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University. In a 46-page opinion, the court ruled that the federal mandate requiring employers to provide employees with abortion-causing drugs and devices violates federal civil rights laws, and issued an injunction against the mandate. Religious plaintiffs have now won injunctions in 9 out of 12 such cases involving non-profit entities challenging the mandate.
“The government doesn’t have the right to decide what religious beliefs are legitimate and which ones aren’t,” said Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and lead attorney for East Texas Baptist and Houston Baptist Universities. “In its careful opinion, the Court recognized that the government was trying to move across that forbidden line, and said “No further!”
In its opinion, the federal court specifically rejected the government’s argument that it evaluate the Universities’ beliefs: “The religious organization plaintiffs have shown a sincerely held religious belief that the court cannot second-guess.”