Trump administration won’t drop contraceptive mandate appeal

Instead of withdrawing government's case, Justice Department asks federal appeals court for 60 extra days to negotiate an agreement with plaintiffs

President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign (photo by Michael Vadon)

With President Donald Trump’s administration signaling that it is not dropping the HHS mandate cases against religious non-profits, plaintiffs are concerned that the action does not reflect promises made during the presidential campaign.

“The government has a chance to do the right thing here. It got it wrong for five years in these cases, almost six years,” said Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents many non-profits in HHS mandate cases.

“And they can do the right thing by dropping their appeals that are in favor of the mandate, and admitting that they were wrong on the issue of the contraceptive mandate, as applied to religious non-profits,” Rassbach told CNA Tuesday.

During his presidential campaign, Trump had promised Catholics relief from the HHS mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some early abortion drugs. In a letter to the Catholic Leadership Conference last October, he pointed to his opponent Hillary Clinton’s support for the mandate, and said “that is a hostility to religious liberty you will never see in a Trump Administration.”

After Trump’s election, the plaintiffs challenging the mandate widely expected that the new administration would drop the government’s appeal of the lawsuits, which federal circuit courts may re-examine in the coming months.

Instead of dropping the cases, however, the administration indicated that it intends to take the next step in the litigation process. On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that the Justice Department had asked a federal appeals court for 60 extra days to negotiate an agreement with East Texas Baptist University and several other plaintiffs challenging the mandate. The Supreme Court last year had instructed the Obama administration to negotiate with the plaintiffs as the next step in the litigation process.

The Becket Fund said that the same lawyers that litigated the cases on behalf of the Obama administration are still on the mandate cases now under the Trump administration.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

 

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Comments

  1. Donald Trump has back stabbed everyone who ever trusted him. Why should this be different.

  2. Joel Fago says:

    Trump’s words indicate that he is fully committed to saving the lifes of unborn babies. His actions say otherwise.

  3. Why is anyone surprised by Mr. Trump’s actions on this issue? During the campaign, Trump stated he was pro life simply to garner the “Catholic vote”. By his past behavior, he is a philanderer so his pro-life advocacy is highly suspect.

  4. Don Guillermo says:

    The Washington Post has also reported that Mr. Trump had drafted an executive order protecting religious freedom, but that he opted not to sign it at the behest of Jared Kushner and Ivanka. Among other things, the order would have shielded from lawsuits those bakeries refusing on religious grounds to make wedding cakes for same-sex “weddings.” We can only wonder how Mr. Kushner and formal apostate Ivanka might have influenced the President NOT to withdraw the HHS mandate appeal. People, including Mr. Trump, will always disappoint us. Only God is good and just.

    • The Orthodox rabbis have denounced them pretty much as JINOs for their betrayal of marriage between one man and one woman.

      “He is shifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat. Oh, be swift my soul to answer him. Be jubilant my feet.”

  5. FrMichael says:

    This will be a serious stab in the back if things progress as heretofore with respect to this wicked mandate. Without religious conservatives holding their noses and voting for Trump against the monstrous Hillary Clinton he clearly would not be president.

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