Skip to main content

Newland v. Burwell

Description:  Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the Newland family, which owns and operates private HVAC manufacturer Hercules Industries, have filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration over its mandate that forces the family-owned business to violate its religious beliefs by requiring it to offer insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception.

Monday, Mar 16, 2015

Attorney sound bite:  Matt Bowman

Click here to access photos.

DENVER – The family business that was the first in the nation to obtain a preliminary court order against the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate has achieved final victory in its lawsuit. A federal district court issued a permanent injunction Monday in favor of Hercules Industries and its owners, who are represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys.

The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy financial penalties through the Internal Revenue Service.

“Americans should be free to live and work according to their faith without fear of punishment by the government,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “In this country, citizens have always had the freedom to believe, the freedom to express those beliefs, and the freedom to operate their businesses in accord with those beliefs. The Supreme Court upheld that time-honored principle in its Conestoga/Hobby Lobby decision just last year, and the district court has rightly done the same.”

ADF attorneys and allied attorneys represented Conestoga Wood Specialties in its victory at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The opinion issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in Newland v. Burwell rejected the Obama administration’s argument that the administration must sign off on the injunction before the court can issue it.

“This proposed arrogation of authority offends the very structure of our government, and ignores the exclusive jurisdictional authority of the United States District Court to provide such relief,” the court wrote. “Notwithstanding [the administration’s] suggestion to the contrary, the injunction is entered under the jurisdictional authority of the United States District Court and it remains in full force and effect unless and until modified or dissolved by the District Court upon a showing of just cause or by order entered by the Court of Appeals following review.”

“You’re not free if your beliefs are confined to your mind,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “What makes America unique is our freedom to peacefully live out our beliefs, and the Constitution protects that freedom.”
  • Pronunciation guide: Bowman (BOH’-min), Theriot (TAIR’-ee-oh)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
# # # | Ref. 37155

Legal Documents

Complaint: Newland v. Sebelius
Preliminary injunction hearing transcript: (7/25/2012)Newland v. Sebelius
Preliminary injunction order: Newland v. Sebelius
Appellees’ opening brief: Newland v. Sebelius
DOJ opening brief on appeal: Newland v. Sebelius
Appellees’ supplemental brief: Newland v. Sebelius
Permanent injunction order: Newland v. Burwell

Related Resources

ABOUT Matt Bowman

Matt Bowman serves as senior counsel and director of regulatory practice for Alliance Defending Freedom, where he leads the team focusing on the impact of administrative law on religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and family. From 2017 to 2020, Bowman was a senior executive service appointee in the Trump administration, serving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy General Counsel, and then in the Office for Civil Rights. Prior to joining HHS, Bowman was an accomplished litigator at ADF for over ten years. Before joining ADF in 2006, Bowman served as a law clerk for Judges Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Michael A. Chagares, at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and for Judge John M. Roll at the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Bowman earned his J.D. summa cum laude and was first in his class at Ave Maria School of Law in 2003. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and Michigan and is admitted to practice at the U.S. Supreme Court and multiple federal appellate and district courts.