- Legal Helpline:(800) 296-4529
- PO Box 90555
Photo/Image Gallery(view all images)
ACLJ Files Suit to Protect Catholic Business Owner from Being Forced by Government to Betray Beliefs
Government Mandate Would Require Business Owner to Provide Health Insurance That Includes Abortion-Inducing Drugs
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2012—Pro-life legal organization, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), filed a second federal lawsuit today to protect the religious beliefs of a family-run business in Illinois. By requiring a company to purchase health insurance for employees that includes coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, the ACLJ argues that the Catholic business owners' constitutional and statutory rights are being violated.
In the lawsuit, the ACLJ represents Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. a family-owned, full-service construction business that has served Central and Southern Illinois for more than 50 years. Located in Highland, Ill., the company has about 90 full-time employees and provides a group health insurance plan for only its non-union employees, approximately 20 people. Cyril B. Korte and Jane E. Korte, who own a controlling interest in the company, are Catholics who contend the HHS violates their faith.
"The HHS mandate violates America's longstanding history of protecting conscience rights. The mandate is unlawfully compelling employers such as our clients to do the following: abandon their faith to comply with law, or follow their faith and pay significant annual penalties to the federal government. The mandate must be invalidated," according to Edward White, senior counsel at the ACLJ.
In the suit, the ACLJ argues that the HHS mandate violates the Free Exercise Clause, the Establishment Clause, and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and also violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Administration Procedure Act.
Along with this second lawsuit, the ACLJ filed a motion for preliminary injunction and a motion for partial summary judgment, requesting the court block enforcement of the mandate when the company renews its health insurance coverage in January 2013.
In March, the ACLJ filed a federal suit on behalf of O'Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC (OIH) - a holding company based in St. Louis, MO. The legal challenge is similar: the HHS mandate violates the deeply held religious beliefs of the company and its owner. The case is now before a federal appeals court after a lower court dismissed the suit.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington.