Appeals court criticizes HHS mandate as ‘unsound’ and ‘far too narrow’

Appeals court criticizes HHS mandate as ‘unsound’ and ‘far too narrow’

Seventh_CircuitThe 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently criticized the Obama Administration’s defense of the HHS mandate, saying that it is based on a “far-too-narrow” view of religious freedom.

In the November 12 decision in the Grote Industries v. Sebelius case, the court wrote:

“The government’s argument is premised on a far-too-narrow view of religious freedom: Religious exercise is protected in the home and the house of worship but not beyond. Religious people do not practice their faith in that compartmentalized way; free-exercise rights are not so circumscribed.”

The case involved the Catholic owners of Grote Industries, who challenged the federal HHS mandate that requires business owners – regardless of their moral or religious beliefs – to provide contraception and sterilization services in their insurance plans. The owners of Grote Industries charged that the mandate violated their right to free-exercise of their religion, as providing these services would go against their beliefs.

Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, stated:

“The decision rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power. If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody. … All Americans, including job creators, should be free to honor God and live according to their faith.”

Read the full story at Catholic News Agency.