Brief filed on behalf of Liberty University says the cost of defying abortion order would be “crippling.”
ALEXANDRIA, VA (Oct. 15, 2013) — In an amicus brief submitted on October 9, the American Civil Rights Union asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case brought by Liberty University. Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, the Christian college contends that forcing it through the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) to fund employee health insurance that covers abortions is unconstitutional.
In Liberty University v. Lew, Sibelius, et al, the ACRU brief, written by General Counsel Peter Ferrara, notes that, “if Liberty University fails to comply with the employer mandate of the Act, and does not purchase insurance that covers abortion and abortifacients for its employees, it will face a penalty of $2,000 per employee, or between $13.8 and $15.2 million, each and every year.”
This “crippling penalty” on Liberty “amounts to an unconstitutional burden on the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause,” the brief states. “That same burden also violates the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act.”
Last year, the Supreme Court in NFIB v. Sibelius upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate under Congress’s taxing power. The ACRU brief, which addresses the law’s impact on employers, contends that “the Employer Mandate is … not authorized by the Taxing and Spending Clause under NFIB because the excessive tax penalties noted above amount to punitive penalties and not Constitutional taxes.”