By Dave Andrusko
Dr. James Dobson and his Christian “Family Talk” radio show and ministry have filed suit against the Obama mandate. His lawsuit is the latest in a deluge of legal challenges to the HHS mandate which compels employers to provide health coverage for drugs and procedures to which they have moral or religious objections.
The lawsuit, Dobson v. Sebelius, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, argues that the mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as well as the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
“The government shouldn’t be able to punish Americans for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “Any government willing to force a family-run Christian ministry to participate in immoral acts under the threat of crippling fines is a government everyone should fear.”
“Our ministry believes in living out the religious convictions we hold to and talk about on the air,” added Dobson, Family Talk’s founder and president. “As Americans, we should all be free to live according to our faith and to honor God in our work. The Constitution protects that freedom so that the government cannot force anyone to act against his or her sincerely held religious beliefs. But the mandate ignores that and leaves us with a choice no American should have to make: comply and abandon your religious freedom, or resist and be fined for your faith.”
Family Talk has a self-insured health plan. The complaint notes that if Family Talk does not comply with the mandate’s requirements by May 1, 2014, it will be subject to fines up to $36,500 per employee annually.
“According to the administration, Family Talk is not ‘religious enough’ for an exemption,” Martin Nussbaum of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP, who is serving as co-counsel in the lawsuit, told World News Daily. “Yet sanctity of life and protecting the unborn have long been core religious convictions for Dr. Dobson and Family Talk.”
Last month the Supreme Court agreed to hear two lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate.
Plaintiffs had prevailed in one case—Hobby Lobby—and lost in a second– Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp.
This represents the first legal challenge to ObamaCare to reach the Supreme Court since it upheld the law’s “individual mandate” 17 months ago. Oral arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius are expected in March with a possible ruling by late June.