Sunday, September 15, 2013

Court Denies Preliminary Injunction In Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Case

In M.K. Chambers Co. v. Department of Health and Human Services, (ED MI, Sept. 13, 2013), a Michigan federal district court refused to grant a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate against a a closely-held machinery components company and its two Catholic owners.  The court held that plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on the merits of their 1st Amendment, RFRA and Administrative Procedure Act arguments, saying in part:
The Court takes as true, Plaintiffs’ deeply held religious beliefs. However, courts have held that the Mandate in question applies only to the corporate entity, not to its officers or owners, and that as to the individual owners, any burden imposed on them individually by the contraception mandate is remote and too attenuated to be considered substantial for purposes of the RFRA.
The court previously denied a temporary restraining order in the case. (See prior posting.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Such fractured judicial logic; Judge Hood essentially is saying, "I will ignore the fact the Supreme Court has a stricter standard for granting preliminary injunctions. I will ignore the fact the Supreme Court has never said religious freedom stops when commercial endeavors begin and, as per Sherbert and Thomas, has actually said the religious freedom does /not/ end. I will ignore the fact the Supreme Court found in Yoder a fine of 'only a few dollars' a day to be a substantial burden and resulting in undue harm to religious exercise and this mandate imposes a fine/tax/penalty of $100 per Employee PER DAY. I will ignore the fact, if this company were a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, no debate about whether the mandate substantially burdens religious exercise would exist. I will ignore the fact corporations and LLCs, with liability shields, came into existence long after the adoption of the First Amendment and, consequently, the laws regarding them must comply with its notion of religious exercise. I will ignore the fact this mandate's regulations put the government in a position of picking and choosing Who gets to exercise religious freedom and Who does not, antithetical to the idea of religious freedom. I will ignore the combination of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's reference to "Person" and the Dictionary Act's definition of "Person" and the fact Congress could have easily made an explicit exception from the Dictionary Act's definition of "Person" if it meant to not include corporations, et al., but chose not to do so. I will ignore the fact deference is already given to (non-profit) corporations in the form of churches, mosques, temples, etc., availing themselves of 26 USC 501c(3). I will ignore the fact, even if the burden falls on the company, an additional burden falls on the Owners to actually implement compliance with the mandate, thereby burdening the Owners' religious rights ANYWAY. I will ignore all of the above facts which I find so inconvenient and issue a ruling so blatantly contrary to the evidence presented." May Congress emphasize the logical invalidity of this ruling should Judge Hood ever be up for another appointment.