Liberty University is shocked the U.S. Supreme Court rejected it's multifaceted challenge to Obamacare, but it vows to keep resisting components that its leaders claim violate their conscience – even going as far as promising civil disobedience to stay true to God's law.
Without comment, the justices announced they would not be hearing the college's appeal of a lower-court rejection of its suit, Liberty University v. Lew. The case challenged the constitutionality of the employer and individual mandates as well as the government's ability to force employers to pay for insurance policies that fund abortions and abortion-causing drugs.
"We were very surprised and disappointed to hear of the court's decision because our case would have provided the most comprehensive challenge to Obamacare, and it would have been the perfect vehicle for the Supreme Court to once again examine the entire law," said Harry Mihet, senior litigation counsel at Liberty Counsel, which is affiliated with Liberty University and representing the school in court.
He is particularly surprised that the Supreme Court rejected the university's appeal of an appellate court ruling since the justices agreed just days ago to hear more limited appeals of the contraception mandate from business leaders at Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties.
So did those cases contribute to Liberty University's appeal being rejected?
Mihet told WND that is possible but contends that if the court only took one case, it should have been Liberty's, because as troubling as the contraception mandate is to his client, there is much more to be worried about.
"That is certainly a huge problem, constitutionally speaking, with this law, but that is by no means the only problem with this law. When the Supreme Court indicated last week that it would look again at Obamacare, we thought that it would be inclined to look at the whole law, but alas, we now find out that they want to do it piece by piece," Mihet said.
The high court has yet to speak on the employer mandate, but Mihet said there's little doubt it's unconstitutional.
"Whether it's under the Commerce Clause or the Tax and Spend Clause, we argue that the Constitution simply does not permit that kind of a power grab by the federal government because that is a power reserved for the states," he said.
The Supreme Court ruled in June 2012 that the individual mandate was constitutional only because the penalty for not purchasing health insurance could be considered a tax, and that power is granted to Congress. However, Mihet said that makes the mandate unconstitutional for other reasons, namely that all tax and spending legislation must originate in the House, but the final health-care bill originated in the Senate. Leaders completely gutted the original House bill, replaced it with the Senate version and the House then approved that measure in March 2010 to pass the law.
The rejection of the Liberty University case is seen by some as a death blow to the lawsuit, but Mihet said the fight still goes on.
"It is by no means the end. We have not even begun to fight. We do not ever, ever give up, particularly when such precious constitutional rights are at stake," Mihet said. "Whether in this litigation or some other new litigation, these issues are not going to go away. We're going to continue to bring them to the forefront until someone looks at them and decides them on the merits."
In the meantime, Mihet said the government can expect civil disobedience from Liberty University.
"Liberty University, like Hobby Lobby and the Conestoga family, has made it clear that it will not participate in the abortion industry, and it will not fund the abortion industry with its dollars," he said. "We have drawn a line in the sand and have said that the government is powerless to compel Liberty University to ignore its conscience and to ignore God's law in favor of man's law."