DOJ Attorney in HHS Mandate Case Represented Al-Qaeda Detainees
A Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney, who is representing the Obama administration in an HHS mandate lawsuit, has also represented members of Al-Qaeda who were detained at Guantanamo.
Ian Heath Gershengorn helped to prepare the DOJ brief that outlined the Obama administration’s argument that businesspersons have no constitutional rights to freedom of religion.
Hobby Lobby Stores, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, is a Christian-owned business that claims that ObamaCare’s HHS mandate to provide abortion-inducing drugs, under threat of penalty, is a violation of the Green family’s religious freedom rights.
Gershengorn is among the new lawyers representing radical causes who have been advancing inside the DOJ. A member of the “Al-Qaeda bar,” Gershengorn has served as deputy under Tony West who was promoted in March from head of the DOJ Civil Division to associate attorney general. Among areas West oversees are enforcement of federal election laws in the 2012 presidential election and GITMO detainee policy. Prior to working for DOJ, West’s San Francisco firm represented some of the most radical Islamist terrorists as well as American Taliban John Walker Lindh.
Jennifer Rubin of the Weekly Standard has also observed that, after arriving at DOJ, Gershengorn continued to play a role in setting policy on issues relating to his prior cases in which he defended GITMO detainees.
The DOJ’s response to the lawsuit brought by Hobby Lobby clearly states that business-owners may not exercise faith beliefs while at work, and decides that the “burden” of providing full coverage for employees who want abortion-inducing drugs does not “qualify as a substantial burden” for the business-owner.
Regarding Hobby Lobby’s final brief, filed on Monday, Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for the Becket Fund, said, “The government cannot label people or organizations as ‘secular’ or ‘religious,’ and grant or withhold freedom accordingly. The law simply protects the exercise of religion—whether the Greens practice it in their church, in their home, or in running their businesses.”