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Won U.S. Courts of Appeals

Newland v. Burwell

Newland v. Burwell


William E. Newland founded Hercules Industries in Denver in 1962, and today, it is one of the largest companies of its type in the Western and Midwestern United States. With four manufacturing facilities and twelve sales and distribution centers, Hercules employs hundreds of people. 

Growing up in the Great Depression, William knew what it was like to go without. Even during tough economic times, Hercules always offers extensive benefits—the best in the industry. And through their employee led “Metal of Honor” fund, they’ve contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to local charities and the community.

The company is still owned and managed by members of the Newland family: William E. Newland’s four children William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, and his grandson and Hercules’ President, Andrew Newland. As practicing Catholics, they desire to run the company in a manner that reflects their religious faith, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represented the Newlands in a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration over its mandate that forces the family-owned business to violate its religious convictions by requiring it to offer insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception.

Because Hercules Industries would have been required to begin offering the new coverage when its self-insured plan renewed on Nov. 1, 2012, the case requested a court order that would halt the mandate in July 2012. The District Court granted the Newlands an injunction exempting them from the mandate—the first injunction in the nation against this mandate of Obamacare. The injunction was appealed by the Obama administration, claiming that people of faith forfeit their religious liberty once they engage in business. Fortunately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the District Court’s decision, and at least for now, the Newlands are free to run their business according to their faith-based values.

What's at stake

The freedom to live according to our faith and to honor God in our work.

Freedom from the threat of crippling fines for resisting illegal government mandates.

Freedom from government intrusion on a family business' private moral decisions.

The free and full participation of people of faith in all areas of public life, including the marketplace.

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom represents the Newland Family, and is defending their freedom to operate their business according to their deeply held religious beliefs.

Additional Resources

Video: Christine Ketterhagen of Hercules Industries at press conference in favor of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (2013-03-05)

Hercules Industries website (includes company video)

Case Profiles

Matt Bowman
Matt Bowman
Senior Counsel, Director of Regulatory Practice
Matt Bowman serves as senior counsel and director of regulatory practice at Alliance Defending Freedom, where he focuses on the impact of administrative law on religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and family.