A better title for this post might be David v. Golliath, as once again, David wins the battle. Only this time the battle involves Obamacare’s directive that all employers must provide insurance coverage for abortions and contraceptives.
Hercules Industries is a small Colorado heating and cooling company owned by the Newland family. The owners are Catholic. Beginning August 1, they would have been required to provide coverage to their employees for practices and medications that violated their religious beliefs. To enforce their rights, the Newlands were forced to bring suit in federal district court in Colorado.
On Friday, the court granted a temporary injunction prohibiting the federal government from imposing penalities on the company for failure to comply with the HHS directive.
U.S. Judge John Kane in Denver said the requirements could violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 statute that requires the federal government to consider the rights of faith based groups when crafting policy.
This, of course, is not the end of the litigation. The court must determine whether the requirements actually do violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But what is interesting is that in order to grant a preliminary injunction, the court must first find that the party seeking the injunction has a substantial likelihood of ultimately winning the case.
What is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act? It is really quite simple. It provides that the,
Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—(1)is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and(2)is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.