Washington, D.C. (December 6, 2013) — Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, sitting in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, will be hearing oral argument on Monday in the American Freedom Law Center’s (AFLC) challenge to the recently announced regulations enforcing the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate against religious organizations. The mandate forces certain non-exempt religious employers to authorize coverage for contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization services to the participants and beneficiaries of their healthcare plans, which AFLC contends is a violation of the constitutional right to religious freedom and of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
AFLC, a nonprofit Judeo-Christian law firm, is representing Priests for Life, a prominent Catholic pro-life organization; Father Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life; Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Pastoral Associate and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life; and Janet Morana, the Executive Director of Priests for Life, in this legal challenge.
AFLC Co-Founders and Senior Counsel Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi will be presenting oral argument in support of AFLC’s motion for summary judgment, which was filed on October 1, 2013. Attorneys for the Department of Justice will be arguing on behalf of the Obama administration.
Muise commented: “The question for the court on Monday is not whether compliance with the contraception mandate can be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church. That’s a question of religious conscience for our clients, who have concluded that their legal and religious obligations are incompatible. Consequently, the contraception mandate forces them to do what their religion tells them they must not do in direct violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
AFLC’s lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius; the U.S. Department of the Treasury and its Secretary, Jacob Lew; and the U.S. Department of Labor and its Secretary, Thomas Perez. Each department has a role in enforcing the challenged mandate.
Monday, December 9, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. ET
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
333 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
The hearing is open to the media and the public.
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise will be available for interviews after the hearing in person, by telephone at (734) 635-3756, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.