The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have proclaimed a second Fortnight for Freedom from June 21-July 4th, and, as last year, The American Catholic will participate with special blog posts each day.
Bravo to the Thomas More Law Center that won a preliminary injuction against enforcement of the HHS Mandate as to their clients Thomas R. Beckwith and Beckwith Electric.
The Government claimed that once a business owner chooses to enter into the marketplace or incorporate his business, he surrenders his right to exercise his religious beliefs.
However, Judge Kovachevich’s 37-page decision which mentioned Thomas R. Beckwith’s unique family history—Beckwith’s ancestors arrived on the shores of America in 1626 to escape religious persecution from England — ended with a powerful statement on religious freedom:
“The First Amendment, and its statutory corollary the RFRA, endow upon the citizens of the United States the unalienable right to exercise religion, and that right is not relinquished by efforts to engage in free enterprise under the corporate form. No legislative, executive, or judicial officer shall corrupt the Framers’ initial expression, through their enactment of laws, enforcement of those laws, or more importantly, their interpretation of those laws. And any action that debases, or cheapens, the intrinsic value of the tenet of religious tolerance that is entrenched in the Constitution cannot stand.”
Go here to read the entire decision which has one of the best, and concise, discussions of the constitutional issues regarding the HHS Mandate that I have read. The HHS Mandate has been faring poorly in the courts thus far, as it should, based upon prior case law in this area. This issue will ultimately end up before the Supreme Court and then we will learn if our constitutional guarantees regarding liberty still have any meaning.