October 3, 2012
Bible Publisher Tyndale Files Lawsuit Against HHS Contraceptive Mandate
(Updated) Lawyers: "The government ... knows how ridiculous it sounds arguing that a Bible publisher isn’t religious enough to qualify as a religious employer."
Update (May 9, 2013): Seven months after it filed suit, Tyndale House Publishers has secured its injunction against the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraceptive mandate.
Baptist Press reports that the victory is due to the Obama Administration's "own partial retreat in the case." The government had appealed an injunction granted to Tyndale by a lower court judge in November but recently asked that the appeal be dismissed. The judge dismissed the appeal, which means that Tyndale will not be forced to comply with the contraceptive mandate while its case moves forward.
But the government's motivation is difficult to discern, Religion Clause suggests.
The number of lawsuits facing the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Affordable Care Act (ACA) keeps growing.
Tyndale House Publishers, a Bible publishing house, filed suit against the government yesterday, arguing that the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate violates the owners' right to free exercise of religion.
"The federal government has deemed devout publishers of the Bible to be insufficiently 'religious' to enjoy religious freedom in America," the complaint stated.
According to a press release from Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund), which is representing Tyndale, "The publisher is subject to the mandate because Obama administration rules say for-profit corporations are categorically non-religious."
However, the for-profit publisher is owned by the Christian nonprofit Tyndale House Foundation, which funds Christian charities and receives 96 percent of Tyndale House Publishers' profits.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of the United States directed the government to respond to a petition for rehearing in Liberty University v. Geithner, a case involving ACA challenges. A judge had previously ruled in 2011 that the "federal tax Anti-Injunction Act bars the court from considering the challenge to the law." Plaintiffs are seeking a rehearing of the case following rulings that the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply in this situation.
Tyndale is the second evangelical-owned business to file suit against HHS; CT previously covered a similar lawsuit by retail-craft chain Hobby Lobby.