Archive for the ‘PFL Lawsuit’ Category

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.






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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.






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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.






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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.






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Court to Priests for Life: “You have to wait”

Monday, April 15th, 2013





Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 15, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Judge dismisses case for now, but protects Priests for Life from HHS Mandate; Priests for Life to re-file.

On Friday, April 12, in Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York, Judge Frederic Block issued an order granting the government’s motion to dismiss the case, Priests for Life vs. Sebelius, on grounds of “lack of ripeness.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued this statement:

“The Court’s decision Friday does not mean that we are being forced to obey the mandate now. In fact, this same court protected us from having that happen, by having the government stipulate back in December, in writing, that it would not enforce the mandate against Priests for Life in 2013.

“Moreover, the dismissal does not mean we’ve ‘lost the case;’ it means the court is not ready to decide on the case. The court is not saying we are wrong in our arguments with the Obama Administration and the HHS. Rather, it is issuing a procedural, technical ruling saying that we have to wait before the court decides on the merits of those arguments. The reason for the wait is the Administration’s promise of further changes to the mandate, changes expected by August of this year. The Court is saying, ‘Wait and see if, once the changes to the mandate come, you still want to challenge it.’

“In Judge Block’s order on Friday, he states, ‘The proposed regulations are not fit for review since they are still being formed…If Priests for Life is not content with the ultimate regulations, it may renew its legal challenge at that point.’ This is what has happened in over 20 other cases by similar organizations.

“What do we think of this?

“The Administration has already announced proposed changes, all of which are unacceptable and do not address our legal or moral concerns. The Administration is delaying the inevitable resolution of the legal challenge, and then arguing that the delay itself is grounds for dismissing the challenge. These are cowardly games which show that the Administration just wants these lawsuits to go away. The Administration should not do this and the court should not allow it.

“Moreover, the fact is that the mandate, as it stands now, is law. Its promises about the future are not law. Nor is there any indication that these future changes in any way will constitute exemption from the coerced coverage of objectionable activities.

“What we are saying is simple: the law, as it is now, infringes on our rights, and we only have temporary protection from the damage it does. Right now, the government is momentarily ceasing its illegal conduct so that the legal challenge to it is dismissed, only to return to the conduct later. That is why we are petitioning, and will continue to petition, the courts to declare the mandate unconstitutional. And we have every confidence that we will be successful.”

Robert J. Muise, Esq., American Freedom Law Center, stated, “While we disagree with the court’s ruling, it is not a ruling on the merits of our legal challenge to the HHS mandate. Consequently, as soon as the government ‘finalizes’ its implementing regulations in August, we will be right back in court, challenging the mandate and protecting religious freedom.”

Charles S. LiMandri, also a lead attorney for Priests for Life in the case, stated, “We are pleased that we were successful in securing a Stipulation from the Department of Justice and an Order from the court that guarantees that Priests for Life will not have the current unconscionable HHS Mandate enforced against it. The Department of Justice has further represented in court that final amended rules concerning the HHS Mandate will be in effect by August 2013. If, as we expect, the final HHS regulations continue to be morally objectionable, Priests for Life will still have five months in which to initiate further legal proceedings before they would have to comply with them. We are confident that unless the HHS Mandate is amended to include acceptable conscience protections, that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately hold that it violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

For more details, see 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.






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One Court Rules In Favor of Religious Freedom, Another Rules Against It.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 20, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented today about divergent court rulings in suits challenging the HHS mandate.

On Friday, Nov. 16, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., granted a temporary injunction in a suit brought by Tyndale House Publishers. The judge ruled that the mandate “substantially burdens” the Bible publisher’s right to exercise its religious freedom by imposing financial penalties for failing to offer birth control and emergency contraception coverage to its employees.

“We are, of course, gratified by this injunction, and in our own lawsuit, maintain that we at Priests for Life are similarly burdened by the unjust HHS mandate,” Fr. Pavone noted.

In regard to yesterday’s ruling by a federal judge in Oklahoma City who said that Hobby Lobby Stores must provide insurance coverage for morning-after and week-after abortifacients, Fr. Pavone said.

“These Christian owners of the arts and crafts business have said they will not pay for abortifacient drugs. We stand with them in defiance of this violation of their rights.”

“Actually, with so many lawsuits filed against the HHS mandate, we expect divergent rulings in different courts. Ultimately, this will raise the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take up the issue, which it should,” Fr. Pavone explained.

Father Pavone said he remains confident that Priests for Life will prevail with its lawsuit, which was filed in February and was the fourth one to be launched.

“As I’ve said, this administration is on a collision course with those who treasure religious liberty. Now that the lawsuits can no longer be seen as campaign issues, they will be judged on their merit. And merit is on our side.”

Father Pavone issued an invitation for all American citizens to express their solidarity with Priests for Life by signing the “Citizens’ Amicus Brief” at www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/amicus-brief.aspx.”

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.






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Lawsuits Against HHS Mandate Continue With Obama Re-Election

Friday, November 9th, 2012





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 9, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, welcomed news that the first lawsuit filed against the Obama administration’s HHS mandate will be heard by a federal appeals court.

The suit, brought by Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, will be heard Dec. 14 by the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia.

Priests for Life’s lawsuit, filed in February, was the fourth of some 30 actions that challenge the constitutionality of the mandate.

“A different outcome on Election Day, followed by the elimination of this mandate, would have resolved the problems these lawsuits seek to correct. Now, however, they are more important than ever,” said Father Pavone. “This administration is on a collision course with the Catholic Church, and with anyone who treasures the religious liberty guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It’s encouraging that the Court of Appeals has decided to hear the Belmont Abbey suit, and I’m confident Priests for Life’s suit also will have its day in court and that we will prevail.

“Meanwhile, we invite all citizens to express their solidarity with us by signing the “Citizens’ Amicus Brief” at www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/amicus-brief.aspx.”

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.






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Fr. Pavone to speak at San Francisco Standup Rally Saturday

Friday, October 19th, 2012





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 19, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will speak at a Standup for Religious Freedom Rally at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday, Oct. 20, outside the Federal Building in San Francisco.

The rally is one of hundreds that have taken place nationwide in an ongoing protest against the Obama administration mandate to make employers provide contraception, sterilization services and abortifacient drugs to their employees free of charge.

“Priests for Life will continue to defy this mandate,” Father Pavone said. “Our lawsuit, filed in February, is continuing to make its way through the legal system. The mandate attacks freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to life itself.”

Priests for Life organized Standup rallies in Manhattan in March and June that were attended by thousands of people. Saturday’s rally in San Francisco is sponsored by the California Civil Rights Foundation. Its founder, Walter B. Hoye II, has described the mandate as “a grave and mortal threat to our religious freedom.”

The federal building is at 90 Seventh St. in San Francisco.

For more information about this nationwide event, go to www.standupforreligiousfreedom.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.






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Priests for Life and Fr. Pavone declare “Beginning of the End” of the HHS Mandate

Monday, July 30th, 2012





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 30, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, released the following statement today regarding the preliminary injunction issued in a lawsuit filed by a private company against the Health and Human Services contraception mandate. The ruling marks the first legal victory over the mandate.

“This decision marks the beginning of the end of the unjust and unconstitutional HHS mandate. Even though the Aug. 1 deadline for compliance is still in effect for organizations like Priests for Life, it’s good news that the suit filed by the owners of Hercules Industries has been successful in holding off, at least temporarily, this mandate that is so clearly a violation of the religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of our country. This gives us reason to be optimistic as our own lawsuit progresses.

“But no matter what happens, there is no way we will comply with a law that calls for us to violate our consciences by paying for contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization services.”

In Newland vs. Sebelius, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled on July 27 that the constitutional and statutory rights of the plaintiffs – siblings who own a heating and air conditioning company – would be harmed by enforcement of the HHS mandate. Judge John L. Kane also found that Hercules likely would prevail in its claim that the mandate is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In his ruling, the judge noted that Hercules’ owners, William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, run their company according to Catholic principles and teachings, even when those religious, ethical and moral teachings impact their profits.

Fr. Pavone added, “Priests for Life is proud to be in the company of the Newlands and so many others who are not willing to set aside their deeply held beliefs, or their legal rights, even when threatened with economic catastrophe. We are confident that our lawsuit, filed Feb. 15, will protect us from the imposition of more than $1 million a year in fines.

“In addition to pressing on with our legal action, Priests for Life will also help once again to organize nationwide rallies for religious freedom, to take place on Saturday, October 20.”

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






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Stand Up for Freedom at NYC site where Bill of Rights was adopted

Thursday, June 7th, 2012





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 7, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — Students of American history know that on April 30, 1789, at the site of what is now the Federal Hall National Memorial, George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States. But this Wall Street monument to liberty is famous for much more.

In 1735, newspaper editor John Peter Zenger was tried and acquitted there on charges of sedition after exposing government corruption in his paper, the New York Weekly Journal.

In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress was assembled there to protest taxation without representation.

And on Sept. 25, 1789, the First Congress met there to adopt the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

On Friday, June 8, a cross-section of Americans who cherish their First Amendment rights will gather at noon outside Federal Hall to protest a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to curtail religious liberty.

The Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will be one of 150 such rallies to take place simultaneously across the country in protest of a Health and Human Services mandate that would force employers to include coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs in the health insurance plans they offer. The mandate is in direct violation of the moral law.

“This is an assault on the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech granted to all Americans by the First Amendment,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. The Staten Island-based ministry is organizing the New York City event.

“The Administration is offering some groups a year to ‘adapt’ to the rule. But you don’t ‘adapt’ to injustice. You oppose it. We are opposing it in the courts, because Priests for Life launched the fourth lawsuit against this mandate back in February,” Father Pavone said. “This Friday, we will oppose it also in the streets, as we help to organize and promote these rallies nationwide.”

Friday’s NY City rally is the second one at the site. More than 1,200 people attended the first Stand up Rally on March 23.

Speakers on Friday will include Dr. Alveda King, full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and the niece of Martin Luther King Jr.; Father Agustino Torres of the Franciscan Friars; Chris Bell, founder of Good Counsel Homes, and Dr. Anne Nolte of the St. Gianna Center for Women’s Health.

“Anyone who cares about the rights that my Uncle Martin died for should make time to come to this rally,” Dr. King said. “What’s at stake here goes way beyond contraception.”

Federal Hall National Memorial is at 26 Wall St. To find a rally elsewhere in the country, please send an email to rally@priestsforlife.org or call 347-286-7250.

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






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