HomeNationalNorth Dakota federal judge rules against Biden admin, protects religious Americans’ money

North Dakota federal judge rules against Biden admin, protects religious Americans’ money

A federal judge in North Dakota recently delivered a significant ruling against the Biden administration, marking what could be considered a substantial setback for the federal government’s efforts to support and advocate for transgender rights. This ruling, that came amid the ongoing presidential campaign, has the potential to be leveraged by President Biden’s probable opponent, Donald Trump, in the upcoming general election. Trump may use this decision to his advantage, aiming to attract more independent voters by highlighting the ruling as a failure of the Biden administration to uphold certain policies and rights.

Biden admin lost the case

A federal district court made a decision that went against what the Biden administration wanted in a lawsuit connected to the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) and the right of employees to not pay for transgender surgeries. The decision was confirmed and explained in a news release last week. The legal battle, called Christian Employers Alliance v. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), started in October 2021 in North Dakota’s federal court.

Alliance Defending Freedom wins the case

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) was happy with the ruling and explained the decision in a press release. “In a victory for religious employers, a federal district court ruled Monday that the Biden administration cannot force non-profit and for-profit religious employers and healthcare providers to violate their religious beliefs by paying for and performing harmful ‘gender transition’ surgeries, procedures, counseling, and treatments,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) announced in a press release.

The Biden administration failed to apply controversial mandates

According to ADF, the Biden administration had tried to apply “two mandates” on CEA, but the court’s decision stopped this from happening. The court mentioned that CEA’s religious beliefs were being heavily impacted by the financial penalties they would face if they didn’t follow these mandates.

A federal judge in North Dakota delivered a significant ruling against the Biden administration, religious Americans won't have to pay

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“All employers and healthcare providers, including those in the Christian Employers Alliance, have the constitutionally protected freedom to conduct their business and render treatment in a manner consistent with their deeply held religious beliefs,” ADF Senior Counsel and Director of Regulatory Practice Matt Bowman said.

“The employers we represent believe that God purposefully created humans as either male or female, and so it would violate their religious beliefs to pay for or perform life-altering medical procedures or surgeries that seek to change one’s sex. The court was on firm ground to stop the administration from enforcing these unlawful mandates that disrespect people of faith.”

About the lawsuit

The lawsuit, started in October 2021, argued that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was not correctly interpreting the law against sex discrimination (Title VII) and was wrongly forcing religious employers to cover and offer insurance for gender-changing surgeries. The lawsuit also took issue with how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had changed the definition of “sex” in federal law to include gender identity. This change meant that religious medical providers getting federal money had to do or help with surgeries and procedures that didn’t match their strong religious beliefs.

A federal judge in North Dakota delivered a significant ruling against the Biden administration, religious Americans won't have to pay

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According to the lawsuit from 2021, the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) members believe firmly in the idea that God made people as either male or female from the start, and these categories can’t be changed.

“If CEA members follow their beliefs, they risk liability, investigations, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and other penalties under Title VII and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” the suit continues.

CEA President happy with the court’s decision

“We are overjoyed our members will not have to choose between the biblically based employee benefits and quality healthcare they provide, and the threat of federal enforcement and massive costs for practicing their faith,” CEA President Shannon Royce said.

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“[P]erforming or providing health care coverage for gender transition services under the EEOC and HHS coverage mandates impinges upon CEA’s beliefs,” the court reportedly wrote in its ruling. “CEA must either comply with the EEOC and HHS mandates by violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or else face harsh consequences like paying fines and facing civil liability… [But] religious freedom cannot be encumbered on a case-by-case basis.”

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