Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik had to leave the USCCB meeting last week to testify in court where the diocese was seeking a preliminary injunction against the HHS mandate. Yesterday, the diocese won the injunction - and a bit more. The ruling by Judge Arthur Schwab seemed to suggest that he thinks the diocese has a strong case that the mandate burdens the religious freedom of the diocese in ways not permitted by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This is good news. While I have reservations about the lawsuits brought by private, for-profit employers, the administration's approach to the mandate, even if we can live with it, is not something with which we should be asked to live. There is an "architecture" to religious freedom as the bishops stated last week, and Justice Schwab's decision is a fine addition to that architecture.
November 22, 2013