Deacon Greg Hall is an Aggie Catholic and a member of our Leadership Council here at St. Mary’s. He also happens to be the hero who figured out how to save the Chilean miners who were trapped in a mine in 2010. His company filed suit against the Obama Administration and was granted an immediate permanent injunction. The press release is below:
November 26, 2014
St. Joseph, Minnesota The U.S District Court for the District of Minnesota issued a permanent injunction in the case of Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory E. Hall and American Mfg Company v. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al. This is the first Minnesota federal decision that grants a permanent injunction to a for-profit company that challenged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandated insurance coverage for abortifacients, sterilization, birth control, and related counseling.
In April 2013, Deacon Hall and the company obtained a preliminary injunction that remained in place until the permanent injunction was issued. On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, in the matter of Hobby Lobby Stores, held that small closely held companies may assert rights under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). In light of the Hobby Lobby decision, the Department of Justice stipulated to the order that prohibits the HHS from enforcing the mandate insurance coverage against Deacon Hall and AMC.
Deacon Hall is the sole owner of AMC, which is located in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and currently has less than 50 employees. The company manufactures pumps and equipment used world-wide in the drilling and mining industries.
Deacon Hall is an ordained deacon for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. Hall commenced his lawsuit to prevent the federal government from forcing the company’s group health insurance plan to provide cost-free coverage for products and services that violate his deeply held religious beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church. The permanent injunction will allow AMC to continue to provide health insurance without the threat of penalties for non-compliance.
In early 2013, Deacon Hall was among the early parties to challenge the government’s federal requirements. There are now over 100 lawsuits nationwide, and the courts are beginning to issue permanent injunctions. Deacon Hall’s case is unique in being the only one brought by an ordained minister who owns and manages a secular company. The other parties challenging the government are religious entities, such as the Archdiocese of Washington, religious-affiliated entities, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, and lay business persons with seriously held religious beliefs, such Hobby Lobby Stores.
Deacon Hall responds: “I hope that the results that we were able to achieve will encourage others to follow the dictates of their religious beliefs and stand up and assert their fundamental and legal rights.”
The case is Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory E. Hall, et al, V. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al., Case No. 13-CV-00295 (JRT/LIB). The Order was signed by U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim. Deacon Hall was represented by Erick Kaardal with Mohrman, Kaardal and Erickson, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and by Thomas E. Mathews with Hughes Mathews Greer, St. Cloud, Minnesota.