November 26, 2012 Print

U.S. Supreme Court Directs Federal Court To Rehear Employer Mandate Case

by Bethany Monk

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a petition seeking a rehearing on behalf of a Christian university challenging the ObamaCare employer insurance mandate requiring businesses to provide health care insurance with abortion coverage.

Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va., filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in 2010, the same day President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In Liberty University v. Geithner, the university and two individuals are challenging the government’s employer mandate and its constitutionality. The lawsuit is also challenging the individual mandate, which requires an individual purchase the insurance covering abortions in cases where an employer does not provide it. 

“I am very pleased with the High Court’s ruling,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the law firm representing the plaintiffs in the case. “Today’s ruling breathes new life into our challenge to ObamaCare.”

In 2011, an appeals court in Richmond, Va., decided not to rule on the issues in the case, stating that the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) barred the court from addressing the merits in the case, according to Liberty Counsel.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the AIA does not apply to ObamaCare. In July, Liberty Counsel filed the petition for a rehearing. The higher court’s Monday ruling will send the case back down the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to consider the challenges in the case.

“Our fight with ObamaCare is not over,” Staver said. The ruling, however, will allow his plaintiffs to get their full day in court, and will “put us on the fast track” to the U.S. Supreme Court for 2013.

Staver said that Congress exceeded its power by forcing every employer to provide federally mandated insurance.

“But even more shocking is the abortion mandate, which collides with religious freedom and the rights of conscience,” Staver said. “We needed some reforms, no doubt, but this ObamaCare law is a catastrophe in many respects.

Read Liberty University, et al. v. Geithner.

Read Liberty Counsel’s petition for a rehearing.