States, Catholics Push Forward with Mandate Suit

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Ohio and six other states are pushing ahead with a lawsuit against a portion of President Obama's healthcare reform law.

The suit challenges the mandate that employers must buy health insurance covering birth control.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the litigation, joined by a host of Catholic organizations also, will continue to move forward despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the law.

The states argue that Americans with religious objections shouldn't be required to pay for coverage of abortion drugs and birth control.

Opponents of the mandate are hopeful that it may be struck down.

In Thursday's ruling upholding the health care law, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan wrote, "A mandate to purchase a particular product would be unconstitutional if, for example, the edict impermissibly abridged the freedom of speech, interfered with the free exercise of religion, or infringed on a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause."

Attorney Mark Rienzi, with the  Becket Fund, said that statement suggests the entire court may reject the mandate.

The Becket Fund is currently engaged in separate federal lawsuits on behalf of four religious institutions: Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, Eternal World Television Network and Ave Maria University.

There are now 23 lawsuits in 14 states and the District of Columbia involving more than 50 plaintiffs, according to the group. The challenges include a second wave of lawsuits filed in May by major Catholic universities and other groups.

"It seems to be the administration has won one legal challenge and there are 23 others waiting in the wings," Rienzi said.

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