C12 Group Files Amicus Brief Supporting Constitutional Religious Freedom

February 24, 2014


The C12 Group Files Amicus Brief Supporting Conestoga Wood Specialities’ and Hobby Lobby’s Historical Supreme Court Battle for Employers’ Constitutional Religious Freedom

The C12 Group amicus brief supports two well-established Christian-led companies in their upcoming hearing before the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC on March 25, 2014.

(PRWEThe C12 Group files Amicus Brief in support of Conestoga Wood Specialities’ and Hobby Lobby’s historical legal battle for employers’ constitutional religious freedom against the Affordable Care Act Abortifacient Mandate. The Amicus brief will be presentedB) February 24, 2014

The C12 Group is America's largest Christian CEO roundtable provider and not a political advocacy group.

However, C12 filed a stand-alone amicus brief (Case Nos. 13-354 & 13-356) with the U.S. Supreme Courtsupporting Hobby Lobby’s and Conestoga Wood Specialties’ legal challenge against The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Contraceptive Mandate within the Affordable Care Act (Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Case No. 13-1144 & Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Case No. 12-6294), because a clear majority of its 1300+ members see the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) HHS Mandate (zero-copay abortifacients, sterilization, secular family planning, and contraception), as a violation of their religious principles and conscience.

Don Barefoot, CEO of The C12 Group says, “C12 is a business organization that rarely takes time to comment on current socio-political events. But this issue has crossed the line; we cannot be silent. Unless the HHS mandate is rescinded, many Bible-believing Christian entrepreneurs will be forced to drop company-sponsored medical coverage due to their deeply-held beliefs. This will result in harsh, federally-administered financial penalties which will essentially be an unfair major tax on these particular employers who typically rank among America’s most trusted and highest-performing companies. This is bad for millions of employees, bad for America, and an affront to people of Biblical faith everywhere.”

C12 believes that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga represent the point-of-view of an estimated 150,000 Christian servant leader-led family-controlled businesses with 10 or more employees (including many major firms) across America. This slice of the U.S. corporate employment landscape is fighting to keep the free exercise of its religious liberties, as guaranteed by the Constitution and underscored by the more recent Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb.

Like the several hundred member companies of C12, for this group, life under the Lordship of Christ is a full-time, 24/7 calling that extends to all aspects of public and private life (work, home, church) and fundamentally underpins the reason many persevere in leading a business as a primary life stewardship and vocational calling from God. This enables this significant slice of the corporate landscape to operate with more resilience and diligence, often producing the exceptionally strong performance associated with servant leader-led companies. Mr. Barefoot claims, “Not only has C12 clearly seen this in the performance of its member companies relative to their marketplace peers in both strong and soft economic times, but a growing body of research has corroborated this quiet yet vital source of America's economic strength during recent years.”

According to data obtained from The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty website (http://www.becketfund.org/hhsinformationcentral/#Armstrong), out of the 47 cases filed in U.S. federal circuit and appeals courts by for-profit Christian-led businesses, 33 were successful in winning an injunction against the HHS Contraceptive Mandate. A legal paper published by the Columbus School of Law (George Mason Law Review, Vol. 21, Issue 1 Fall 2013) disputes the U.S. government’s contention that for-profit companies (and consequently their owners/CEOs) have no inherent right to religious expression in the marketplace because “for-profit business’s ‘overriding purpose is to make money.’ Making money is a goal the government labels ‘secular’, so that ‘by definition’ profit-making businesses ‘do not engage in any exercise of religion.’" C12 believes this represents an enormous infringement of the rights of business owners and CEOs.

Mr. Barefoot explains, “This is tantamount to enforced dualism for Bible-believing Christian chief executives as the federal government attempts to redefine the marketplace as purely secular. And with such a large federal regulatory apparatus, including the IRS, involved in policing and enforcing this radical, unconstitutional point-of-view, religious liberty as a free people in the marketplace is at stake for Christian business owners. As Founding Father and second President John Adams so aptly said, 'Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.’”

Mr. Barefoot concludes that, “This is a time for prayer and fasting by people of faith across America, as our free exercise of firmly-held religious convictions is very much under attack.”


About The C12 Group

The C12 Group is America’s leading roundtable for Christian CEOs and Owners ‘Building GREAT Businesses for a GREATER Purpose’. C12 Members gather monthly for a unique, proven peer forum to engage in worthwhile continual learning, brainstorming, intentional accountability. They share proven ‘best practices’ in business that align with the eternal perspective. Members also receive monthly counsel through one-on-one sessions, an annual business review, and an online library of high-impact leadership tools. Founded in 1992 by Buck Jacobs, dedicated Christian author and CEO, C12’s mission is to change the world by bringing forth the Kingdom of God in the marketplace through the companies and lives of those He calls to run businesses for Him.

Christian CEOs & Owners Building GREAT Businesses for a GREATER Purpose ©2014, The C12 Group, all rights reserved.