- By Samantha Boontjer
- Published: February 5th, 2013
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced a hearing date for Liberty Counsel’s challenge of the new health care law put into effect by the Obama administration. The hearing is scheduled for May 15 in Richmond, Va.
Liberty University School of Law Dean and professor Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, will be filing the legal briefing this month and will present the oral argument in May. Staver said that the case does have the potential to change the law.
“Our case of Liberty University v. Geithner presents the most comprehensive challenge to ObamaCare in the nation,” Staver said.
According to Staver, the Liberty Counsel filed the lawsuit March 23, 2010, the day that the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.
Liberty is arguing against the law’s requirement for employers to provide and for individuals to buy government-mandated health insurance or to pay a penalty.
“Our case challenges the entire employer mandate along with the forced funding of abortion in both the employer and individual mandates,” Staver said in a press release.
Staver claimed that this new act is “a gross snub to constitutional liberties.” The original Constitution created a limited federal government, according to Staver.
“When the federal government seeks to expand its authority, as it has in ObamaCare, that act alone violates the Constitution.”
“ObamaCare forces employers and individuals to fund abortion, and this act of forced abortion collides with the Free Exercise of Religion recognized in the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution,” Staver said.
He also believes that this law violates Article I, Section 8, generally known for containing the Commerce Clause, and a federal law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
According to the 103rd Congressional Record, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was established in 1993. Congress found that “laws ‘neutral’ toward religion may substantially burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise.” One of the purposes of the law was “to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.”
“I’m very pleased that we now have a briefing and argument schedule,” Staver said. “Time is of the essence to block this mandate from colliding with the free exercise of religion.”
Staver also explained that July 1 is the day for many annual insurance plan renewals, and that is when the forced abortion funding mandate will hit most employers.
Liberty Counsel filed an appeal with the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals dismissed the original suit in September. According to Staver, the court had ruled against their original appeal because “the Anti-Injunction Act prohibits the court from deciding the merits until the tax in ObamaCare is paid. … We asked the Supreme Court to review and reverse the decision, and the High Court did.”
In November, the Supreme Court ordered the Court of Appeals to consider the claim.
Access to the nearly 3,000-page Affordable Care Act can be found on the Liberty Counsel website, www.lc.org.