Last Friday’s standing-room only hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission was among the most dramatic I’ve witnessed. There was outrage – outrage not just from me as I declared the State Department “AWOL” in our quest to free an American Pastor, Saeed Abedini — a U.S. citizen — captured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard […]
It is a tremendously important lawsuit. We filed suit today in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri on behalf of a St. Louis business owner and his company. Our argument is clear: the HHS mandate, which requires employers to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, violates the religious beliefs of our client.
You may recall that there have been several suits filed nationwide challenging the HHS mandate. But this is the first complaint filed on behalf of a private business owner. We represent Frank R. O’Brien and O’Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC (OIH) – a holding company based in St. Louis. O’Brien is chairman of OIH which operates a number of businesses that explore, mine, and process refractory and ceramic raw materials, with its products going to more than 40 countries. His companies employ nearly 100 people and this Catholic entrepreneur does not want to be forced, under penalty of law, to comply with a mandate that violates his deeply held religious beliefs.
We’ve assembled a highly skilled legal team that’s working on this issue. The lawsuit, posted here, contends that the HHS mandate “imposes a substantial burden on Plaintiffs’ free exercise of religion by coercing Plaintiffs to choose between conducting their business in accordance with their religious beliefs or paying substantial penalties to the government.”
You can also read more about the case and our client in this news release posted here.
The White House claims its working on a solution, but there are reports that there’s been no progress in getting this resolved. And, just yesterday, we posted to our ACLJ website an important look at how more and more Americans simply don’t want this mandate, don’t want the government telling them what to do. Americans understand religious liberty is at stake here.
That’s exactly why we’re in federal court in Missouri challenging this unconstitutional mandate. We will keep you posted on this very critical case.