Today, attorneys from Liberty Institute, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, and Robinson & McElwee, PLLC filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a family owned, faith-based car dealership in Charleston, WV, Joe Holland Chevrolet, that is faced with $15,000 in potential fines for each day it does not provide abortion-inducing drugs to its employees.
“Faced with violating their own deeply held religious beliefs or subjecting itself to crushing fines, Joey Holland and his family business has no alternative but to seek court protection from the federal government’s unconstitutional mandate,” said Jeff Mateer, General Counsel for Liberty Institute. “The government should not be able to coerce family owned and faith-based businesses to violate their religious beliefs.”
Joe Holland Chevrolet is a family owned and operated car dealership located in South Charleston, WV with over 150 employees. The dealership’s purpose is “to glorify and honor God by being faithful stewards for all that is entrusted to us.” The objection to the HHS mandate stems from Holland’s commitment to operate his business in accordance with his Christian faith, which includes his conviction that his business be closed on Sundays.
“No West Virginian should be fined or penalized by their government for simply living one’s life as a person of faith in public,” said Jeremiah Dys, President of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, “Today, Joey Holland stands up for all West Virginians, who simply wish to live, learn, and do business according to their faith.”
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If Holland’s requested relief is not granted by July 1, he could be subjected to penalties of over $15,000 per day (or more than $5.4 million each year) by the Federal government for failing to provide his employees with abortion-inducing drugs.
Joining 61 other cases and over 200 plaintiffs nationwide, Holland’s case is the first in West Virginia to contend that the HHS mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment to the Constitution. To date, 20 courts have granted injunctive relief prohibiting enforcement of the HHS mandate against businesses asserting violation of their religious beliefs.