Staver: Activist judge's decision an overreach

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

birth-control pillsA judge in Pennsylvania may have temporarily blocked President Trump's rollback of ObamaCare's birth-control mandate, but an attorney with years of experience defending religious freedoms is confident that decision will be overturned on appeal.

Last week, Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said the Trump administration could not allow groups such as Little Sisters of the Poor to opt-out of a federal requirement to provide contraceptives and abortifacient drugs in their healthcare plan. According to Judge Beetlestone, Trump's exemptions are sweeping and "conjured up a world where a government entity is empowered to impose its own version of morality on each of us."

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, notes that Beetlestone is another activist judge – one who was appointed by President Obama.

"The federal government and certainly the president as head of the federal government have a right to be able to accommodate religious beliefs – and that's exactly what President Trump did under the administrative rule," Staver tells OneNewsNow.

Staver

The attorney continues: "This judge now is forcing the federal government to actually require employers who have religious objections to provide abortion coverage and contraception coverage at no cost to the employees. That's just astounding that a judge would think that the court has such authority. It doesn't – and I have no doubt that this decision will be overturned on appeal."

The case was brought to the court in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-Pennsylvania). A similar lawsuit was filed by another Democratic attorney general, Xavier Becerra of California. Pennsylvania obtained a court order keeping the Little Sisters from joining the case to defend their rights. AG Becerra has argued that the Little Sisters should not be able to defend their rights in his lawsuit.

"It's not just the Little Sisters of the Poor, it's others as well," says Staver. "But at the end of the day, the president – and certainly the Trump administration – has the authority to provide religious accommodations. That's what they did, and the court does not have the authority to force the government to provide a certain benefit, in this particular case, abortion coverage with drugs and devices and contraception."

The attorneys general did not respond to OneNewsNow's request for comments.

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