First Appeals Court Ruling on Contraceptives Mandate Favors Catholic Business

Eight Circuit temporarily blocks enforcement of HHS mandate.

(RNS) A federal appeals court on Wednesday (Nov. 28) temporarily blocked the enforcement of the Obama administration's contraception mandate while a Catholic business owner appeals a lower court's ruling that tossed out his suit.

Opponents of the law said that it was the first time that an appeals court had weighed in on the issue, which has spawned multiple suits across the country, and called it a "significant victory."

"The order sends a message that the religious beliefs of employers must be respected by the government," said Francis Manion, senior counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, one of the lawyers representing Frank O'Brien.

In a two-sentence order issued Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to grant O'Brien's company a delay while the appeal is heard.

O'Brien Industrial Holdings and O'Brien, a devout Catholic, sued the federal government in March, alleging the contraception mandate that's part of the 2010 health ...

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