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Within hours of sending our email message yesterday, we got the news.
The Federal Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis last night agreed to block the implementation of the HHS Mandate against our client – Catholic businessman Frank O’Brien – while we pursue our appeal of the lower court decision.
The court agreed with our request to put the breaks on the mandate while we challenge its constitutionality and pursue our case to restore religious freedom.
To be clear, this ruling only stops the enforcement of the mandate against Frank O'Brien's company. But the Court traditionally does not grant such a motion unless they believe we have a solid case, and have a reasonable change to win.
This is a significant step considering that the ruling was made on behalf of a private business – not a religious organization. Of course religious organizations deserve protection from the mandate, but so does every American. We want religious freedom for everyone!
I am emphasizing to the media that while Mr. O’Brien’s company is not a religious organization, he does not view his faith as something separate from his professional work. Christians do not check their faith at the church door on Sundays. We are called to live out our faith in everything we do.
Yesterday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit marks the highest court yet to issue an injunction against the HHS mandate.
But now we enter the most important part of this legal challenge. Writing legal briefs for our appeal are now underway. This is where things get interesting. And challenging. And expensive.