This long legal war on our religious liberties has finally ended.
Most Americans probably believed that the notorious HHS contraception mandate had been effectively nullified after the Supreme Court ruled against the Obama administration in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell and Zubik v. Burwell.
But deep state holdovers at the Justice Department, like those Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender for decades after the end of WWII, continued to pursue the lost cause even after the Trump administration took office. On Wednesday, however, Judge David Russell of the United States District Court for Western Oklahoma flushed the last of these dead-enders out of their caves and forced them lay down their briefcases.
Judge Russell permanently enjoined the federal government from enforcing the mandate against the Catholic Benefits Association (CBA) and issued a declarative judgment to the effect that the mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
Judge Russell’s ruling also rescinds nearly $6.9 billion in federal fines that have accrued against CBA members since Obamacare was enacted in 2014. The organization represents more than 1,000 Catholic health care providers, making it the largest single plaintiff that had challenged the mandate.