Archive for the ‘PFL Lawsuit’ Category

Religious Freedom is a Civil and Human Right!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

140326 blog image

“There is a difference between killing the poor and serving the poor.” Father Frank Pavone, Priests for Life

UPDATE

Monday I did an interview on Airing the Addisons with Wil and Meeke discussing the HHS Mandate and Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Click HERE to listen to that show.

This week at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) involves the lives of every American: yet many are unaware.

Yesterday the SCOTUS heard arguments for two cases, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, regarding their lawsuits against the HHS Mandate. Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, led prayers with other pro-life leaders and religious freedom advocates at a rally in front of the Supreme Court Building in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Planned Parenthood and others they will be bussing in to rally in favor of the HHS Mandate.

The irony now is that during the oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday on whether the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act violates the free exercise of religion, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan suggested that employers who have moral objections to birth control should not provide health care coverage for their employees. They even recommended that employers opt to pay taxes to avoid the mandate and even give employees a $2K raise to buy their own insurance. Does this sound like a socialist agenda?

This is an important question for human and civil rights advocates because much is at stake regarding the Constitutional rights of religious freedom for every American.

Yet another case deals with infringement against religious freedom of non-profit companies. In our Priests for Life case, I join Fr. Frank Pavone, and Janet Morana as parties to our HHS lawsuit; actually the third in a series filed against the HHS Mandate. The irony is the HHS Mandate seeks to force Priests for Life, an organization that teaches that contraception and abortions are dangerous, life threatening and immoral, to pay for, directly or indirectly, the very injustice that we are fighting against.

Our case is in the appeals process in the DC Circuit court. While the appeal works its way through the appeals process, which can be a lengthy undertaking, we have petitioned the SCOTUS to take up the case because of its “imperative public importance.” That petition will be heard later this week, on Friday, March 28.

Please pray that the SCOTUS will make the right decisions and rule in favor of the Hobby Lobby/Conestga Woods case; that the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional and pray that the SCOTUS agrees that our PFL case is of such “imperative public importance” that it decides to take up the case and give a favorable ruling.

These legal matters raise civil and human rights issue. It is an injustice to rule on the side of death dealing agents such as carcinogenic fertility blockers. My Uncle M.L. fought for civil rights over 50 years ago and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is coming up later this year. Yet, in 2014 our government is working against our liberties.

May God have mercy and help us, because: CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Yesterday I did an interview on Airing the Addisons with Wil and Meeke discussing the HHS Mandate and Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Click HERE to listen to that show.

Supreme-court-building

This week is a busy one for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and it involves every American: yet many are unaware.

Today the SCOTUS will hear arguments on two cases, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, regarding their lawsuits against the HHS Mandate. Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, is gathering with other pro-life leaders and religious freedom advocates for a rally from 10:00-11:30 am in front of the Supreme Court Building in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Gathered there as well will be Planned Parenthood and others they will be bussing in to rally in favor of the HHS Mandate.

This is an important day for human and civil rights because much is at stake regarding the Constitutional rights of religious freedom for every American.

Yet another case deals with infringement against religious freedom of non-profit companies. In our Priests for Life case, I join Fr. Frank Pavone, and Janet Morana as parties of our HHS lawsuit; actually the third in a series filed against the HHS Mandate. The irony is the HHS Mandate seeks to force Priests for Life, an organization that teaches that contraception and abortions are dangerous, life threatening and immoral, to pay for, directly or indirectly, the very injustice that we are fighting against.

Our case is in the appeals process in the DC Circuit court. While the appeal works its way through the appeals process, which can be a lengthy undertaking, we have petitioned the SCOTUS to take up the case because of its “imperative public importance.” That petition will be heard later this week, on Friday, March 28.

Please pray that the SCOTUS will make the right decisions and rule in favor of the Hobby Lobby/Conestga Woods case; that the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional and pray that the SCOTUS agrees that our case is of such “imperative public importance” that it decides to take up the case and give a favorable ruling.

These legal matters raise civil and human rights issue. It is an injustice to rule on the side of death dealing agents such as carcinogenic fertility blockers. My Uncle M.L. fought for civil rights over 50 years ago and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is coming up later this year. Yet, in 2014 our government is working against our liberties.

May God have mercy and help us, because: CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Decision Expected Soon on Priests for Life’s Petition to Bring HHS Challenge to Supreme Court

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 20, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — Priests for Life will likely know by the end of the month if the U.S. Supreme Court will review its challenge to the contraceptives mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

“Our petition for review with the Supreme Court is scheduled to go to conference on Friday, March 28,” said Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center. “We will likely know the outcome within a couple of days.”

The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear the case against the HHS mandate on behalf of for-profit business corporations. If the petition of Priests for Life is successful, it would bring before the Court the question of how the mandate impacts religious, not-for-profit groups.

“We’re hopeful that our case will be accepted because our objections to this unjust mandate stem not only from our personal convictions, but from the very purpose of our organization,” Fr. Pavone explained.

Father Pavone noted that if the Supreme Court denies the petition, it would not impact the Priests for Life lawsuit currently in the D.C. Circuit, and the organization would still be able to seek review in the Supreme Court after the circuit court rules.

“As we have said since this unjust mandate was announced more than two years ago, we will not obey it and we are confident we will prevail in court,” Father Pavone said.

Find out more details about the Priests for Life case at www.priestsforlife.org/HHSMandate

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Priests for Life Takes HHS Mandate to Supreme Court!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 11, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, made the following announcement today:

“Priests for Life has taken the next step in our appeal to the US Supreme Court regarding the HHS mandate. Our response to the government’s objection to our appeal has been sent to the Court, and the Justices will decide, likely in a matter of days, whether to hear our case.

“Our lawsuit is still on appeal in the Circuit Court in Washington DC, but in matters of particular public urgency, the law permits an appeal to the Supreme Court, even before the lower courts have finished hearing the case.

“Our reply brief was submitted through the American Freedom Law Center, and we are grateful to our attorneys, Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi, for their expertise and their continued commitment to this cause.

“As our reply brief states,

‘To ignore the gravity of the moral dilemma caused by the mandate, which is affecting countless lives (and souls), the uncertainty surrounding its enforcement, and the costs and burdens caused by this uncertainty is to ignore reality.’

“The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear arguments regarding the HHS mandate as applied to businesses, like Hobby Lobby. Inevitably, the court will also have to resolve the problem the mandate presents to religious groups, whose rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are even less disputed. Therefore, we are asking them to resolve that issue now.

“As our brief also points out,

‘Moreover, what makes review of this case particularly compelling is the fact that this challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s reason for existing as an organization. Consequently, Petitioners are well situated—and perhaps best suited—to challenge the mandate and its application to non-exempt, nonprofit religious organizations.’

“We continue to join in prayer and solidarity with the many other plaintiffs who have lawsuits against the mandate, and with all our supporters, on whose help we continue to rely. We will celebrate the victory together!”

Find out more details about the Priests for Life case at www.priestsforlife.org/HHSMandate.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Priests for Life Asks Supreme Court to Hear Obamacare Challenge

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 27, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — Priests for Life has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review its challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive services mandate.

Attorneys from the American Freedom Law Center have invoked a special rule of the Supreme Court to ask for a review even before there has been a ruling on the challenge from the United States Court of Appeals. The petition says the case is of such “imperative public importance” that it requires an immediate ruling from the Supreme Court.

Specifically, the petition asks whether the contraceptive services mandate of the Affordable Care Act as applied to non-exempt, nonprofit religious organizations, such as Priests for Life, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In the petition, Robert Muise, American Freedom Law Center co-founder and senior counsel, noted that the Court this term will hear a challenge to the mandate filed by owners of for-profit businesses who claim their free exercise of religion is violated by the mandate. Because the mandate also applies to non-exempt faith-based non-profits, “it will serve the public interest by having this matter resolved immediately for all affected parties.”

Muise also said the Priests for Life suit, filed on behalf of the organization; its National Director, Father Frank Pavone; Executive Director, Janet Morana, and Director of African-American Outreach, Dr. Alveda King, is “uniquely situated to advance this important challenge.”

The petition notes that Priests for Life — one of the first groups to sue against the HHS mandate — is particularly well-suited to launch such a lawsuit. Not only does the mandate violate its religious freedom, as is true of so many other religious organizations, employers, and businesses, but in this case the organization exists precisely to fight the evils that the mandate seeks to expand.

Priests for Life was founded in 1991 “to spread … the Catholic Church’s position and central teaching regarding the value and inviolability of human life.” Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients are all instruments of the culture of death, the petition declares, “and their use can never be approved, endorsed, facilitated, promoted, or supported in any way. Thus, this challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s corporate raison d’être.”

“The contraceptive services mandate has been challenged by many religious non-profits, with varying outcomes,” Father Pavone said. “Clearly the Supreme Court will have to rule on one or more of these challenges, and we believe the Priests for Life case cuts right to the heart of the matter. Whatever the outcome, we cannot and will not obey this mandate. We decide how to practice our religion. The government does not decide for us.”

To follow the history and progress of our case, visit www.priestsforlife.org/HHSMandate.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Alveda King: Emergency Injunction To Stop HHS Mandate Enforcement Against Priests for Life Was “An Answer To Prayer”

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 8, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

ATLANTA – Dr. Alveda King, full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, said “the 11th hour emergency injunction that temporarily relieves our ministry from the loathsome yoke of the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act was an answer to prayer.”

Likening the intervention to “a wakeup call akin to what my uncle Dr. King described in his A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT experience,” Dr. King describes the urgently pressing need to resist the HHS Mandate.

Priests for Life learned at 5 p.m. Dec. 31, just hours before its new insurance policy was to take effect, that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had granted the injunction, which will remain in place while the appeal of Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the mandate is heard.

Dr. King, along with Priests for Life National Director Father Frank Pavone and Executive Director Janet Morana, are named as plaintiffs in the suit.

“As a Catholic ministry, Priests for Life opposes the use of contraception, as well as ‘morning-after’ contraception that acts as an abortifacient, and sterilization,” she explained. While she is not Catholic, she also opposes these products and services because they are part of the “contraceptive mentality” that allows the destruction of more than a million unborn children a year, and because they are unhealthy for women.

“For many years we have been crying out for justice for the babies in the womb, for their mothers who are harmed by abortion, and their fathers and the whole community. To force us to participate in a mandate that is totally opposed to everything we believe in would be very egregious to me,” Dr. King said. “I was harmed by abortion. I have children who were killed by abortion and by harmful contraception. This injunctive relief is vital to our ministry, and couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Noting that 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, Dr. King said she believes this year will mark “a significant turning point for righteousness and justice.”

She is inviting all who will be in Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 22 March for Life, to join her at the 20th annual National Memorial for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers.

“We will be praying for an end to the terrible scourge of abortion, and praying that the religious freedom guaranteed to every American is not stripped from us,” Dr. King said.

The National Memorial will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 22 at the DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW. For information, go to NationalPrayerService.com

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Priests for Life Wins Emergency Relief From the Unjust HHS Mandate

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 31, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. –4:58 pm An emergency injunction granted just moments ago in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit means that Priests for Life will not have to obey the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act as its appeal is being heard. It also means that, the day after tomorrow, Priests for Life will not have to cancel health insurance for its employees.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said he is grateful his organization is free, temporarily at least, from having to comply with the unjust mandate or face steep fines by failing to comply when the ministry’s new insurance policy goes into effect on Wednesday.

“We would not have complied with this mandate in any case, as it promotes the very culture of death that Priests for Life works to combat,” Father Pavone said. “We are grateful for this temporary relief and look forward to a permanent injunction once the appeal is fully heard.”

“Our lawsuit was among the very first ones in the country and the necessity to launch it shows that religious freedom in America is in grave danger. We have to take action.”

On Dec. 19, Priests for Life learned that the judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled in favor of the government. Within an hour Priests for Life filed for the emergency injunction that was granted today.

Father Pavone said that what the Obama administration has tried to do through the HHS mandate – which he called a “blatant act of tyranny” – is to give the federal government the power to determine what is and what isn’t important in an individual’s religion; that is not the government’s role.

Father Pavone concluded, “There have already been significant victories in the courts against the HHS mandate, and we have no doubt that Priests for Life ultimately will prevail in this historic fight.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Fr. Pavone: “We, too, are confident of victory”

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 17, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement after learning that Catholic groups in New York have won their battle against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

“This is a victory for religious freedom and all people of faith,” said Father Pavone. “The fact that the judge found that the ‘coercive pressure’ to make these Catholic employers violate their foundational beliefs was ‘substantial’ should not be overlooked. This battle is not about contraception. It’s about the government trying to deny citizens the right to practice their faith, in violation of the very principles on which this country stands.”

Father Pavone noted that a decision in Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the mandate is expected any day. The Priests for Life case was heard Dec. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Priests for Life filed the fourth of dozens of lawsuits filed to challenge the government’s overt violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“We, too, are confident of victory,” Father Pavone said

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

ACLU Asks Federal Court to File “Friend of the Court” Brief in Support of Obama Administration’s Contraception Mandate

Friday, October 25th, 2013

AFLC Logo

For Immediate Release
October 23, 2013

Contact: Robert Muise, Esq.
rmuise@aflc.us
(734) 635-3756

Washington, D.C. (October 23, 2013) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which bills itself as the “nation’s guardian of liberty,” filed a motion in D.C. federal court on Monday, asking that the court grant it permission to submit a “friend of the court” brief in favor of the recently announced regulations enforcing the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate against religious organizations. In the case at issue, Priests for Life, a New York-based Catholic organization, its National Director, Father Frank Pavone, and two Priests for Life employees, including Dr. Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., have challenged the contraception mandate, which requires certain non-exempt religious employers to provide insurance plans that promote and facilitate the use of contraceptives, abortifacients, and related services.

Even though two of the plaintiffs in the case, including Dr. King, are women, the ACLU is arguing that forcing religious organizations to abide by the mandate – even in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs – would promote gender equality and prevent discrimination against female employees. The ACLU motion, which purports to argue for “gender equality,” does not explain why women who have religious objections to the Obamacare contraception mandate are not deserving of the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections.

The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national nonprofit Judeo-Christian law firm, which is representing the plaintiffs, filed an opposition late yesterday to the ACLU’s motion, arguing that it is facially deficient and meritless, in part because the ACLU seeks to intercede on behalf of the Obama administration, which, through the Department of Justice and its army of lawyers, has already mounted a vigorous defense of the mandate. In addition, AFLC pointed out that ACLU’s notorious pro-abortion and anti-Christian bias would serve no purpose in the case’s adjudication.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “The ACLU has a longstanding history of filing amicus briefs to further its political agenda and fundraising objectives. Here, the ACLU seeks to rehash the same incoherent arguments already posited by the Department of Justice in the nearly 100 pages of briefing. Indeed, the ACLU’s arguments are a pale version of the government’s brief, but with the literary angst of a political lobbyist flexing its strong bias in favor of the contraception mandate. In effect, the ACLU brief is little
more than a ‘me too’ underscored by a ‘we really mean it!’”

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “This is not the first time the ACLU has engaged in the abusive practice of filing – or seeking to file – redundant and overly partisan briefs. Indeed, it is rather ironic that a so-called ‘guardian of liberty’ elevates its political ideology above the Constitution. Here, the ACLU is siding with Obama and his attack on the First Amendment in order to support its secular, liberal objectives, which ultimately promote the culture of death.”

Fr. Frank Pavone commented: “I’m not surprised by the ACLU’s attempt here to line up against Priests for Life. This is yet another example of how far removed from ‘civil liberties’ that organization has become. Whether their amicus brief is accepted or not, they are on the losing side of this case, which is all about preserving liberty.”

The case, Priests for Life, et al. v. the Department of Health and Human Services, et al., is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The American Freedom Law Center is a Judeo-Christian law firm that fights for faith and freedom. It accomplishes its mission through litigation, public policy initiatives, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. Visit us at www.americanfreedomlawcenter.org.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Priests for Life Case Against HHS Mandate Moves Forward

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 1, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

A motion for summary judgment was filed today in the lawsuit of Priests for Life against the HHS mandate. The lawsuit names as plaintiffs not only the organization itself, but also Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Janet Morana, Executive Director, and Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, and niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

What this motion means is that the plaintiffs are asking the court to rule in their favor based on the law itself. In other words, the parties have already agreed that there is no dispute about the facts, namely, what the HHS mandate does, its impact on religious organizations like Priests for Life, or the fact that the case is “ripe” for judgment because harm will befall the plaintiffs very soon, given that the mandate will apply in full force against Priests for Life as of January 1, 2014.

It’s time, therefore, for the court to decide whether this mandate violates the US Constitution, as well as the law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“The judge in our case seems ready and willing to issue a final order on the legality of the contraceptive services mandate before the end of the year,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “We were among the very first to launch a lawsuit against this mandate, back at the start of 2012. Despite all the promises and so-called accommodations the Obama Administration has made, our moral and legal concerns have not been satisfied. We’ve waited long enough. It’s time to declare this mandate unconstitutional.”

For details, and information on how you can get involved, visit www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.