Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to answer federal government arguments that downplayed the need for the court to fully hear a Pa. family business’s lawsuit against the Obamacare abortion pill mandate.
The brief encourages the high court to accept the case Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and declare the mandate illegal and unconstitutional. Eighteen states and other parties filed friend-of-the-court briefs last month that also ask the high court to hear the case.
“All Americans, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith,” said Senior Counsel David Cortman. “As our brief argues, this case provides the cleanest opportunity for the Supreme Court to uphold that long-held American principle.”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Conestoga Wood Specialties and the Hahn family, Mennonite cabinetmakers in Pennsylvania who appealed to the nation’s high court after a divided federal appellate court ruled against them. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit’s 2-1 decision runs counter to decisions issued in other circuits and to the vast majority of court rulings on the mandate so far.
“The cost of religious freedom for the Hahn family and many other job creators across the country who face this mandate is severe,” added Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “A family should not face massive fines and lawsuits just because they want to earn a living consistent with their faith.”
The mandate could cost the family nearly $3 million per month in fines if it doesn’t agree to live contrary to its Christian convictions. It forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties by the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies if the mandate’s requirements aren’t met.
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Conestoga Wood Specialties owners Norman Hahn, Elizabeth Hahn, Norman Lemar Hahn, Anthony H. Hahn, and Kevin Hahn desire to run their company, a wholesale manufacturer of custom wood cabinet parts, in a manner that reflects their Christian beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are co-counsel in the case, Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, together with allied attorneys Charles Proctor, III, with the Pennsylvania firm Proctor, Lindsay & Dixon, and Randall Wenger, chief counsel of the Independence Law Center.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating 14 other lawsuits against the mandate. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.