Meet Doug Erikson

Hailing from Hastings, Minnesota, Doug Erikson owned Hastings Automotive, Inc. and Hastings Chrysler Center for over 25 years at the time the lawsuit began.

Erikson believes in enriching the community and running his businesses on the principles of his Christian faith—including the religious principle that abortion is morally wrong. Both of his car dealerships are proud sponsors of community service organizations as well as Christian ministries.

When the HHS Mandate was passed in 2012, requiring employers to provide abortion-inducing contraceptives to their employees, Erickson refused, enlisting the help of First Liberty Institute.

First Liberty Challenges the “Abortion Pill” Mandate

First Liberty Institute and volunteer attorneys Kathryn Nash and Meghann Kantke filed a federal lawsuit on January 29, 2014 on behalf of Erickson and his two car dealerships.

The lawsuit sought a preliminary and a permanent injunction to stop the enforcement of the challenged mandate and a declaration that the mandate violates federal constitutional and statutory law. It also sought relief for the plaintiff’s cost and attorney feels.

On March 24, 2014, First Liberty and volunteer attorneys announced that the federal government temporarily agreed not to enforce the mandate against Erickson, Hastings Automotive, or Hastings Chrysler Center.

“We are grateful that the United States Department of Justice agreed to temporarily refrain from enforcing a portion of the law that we believe would force Mr. Erickson to give up his freedom when doing business,” said Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for Liberty Institute at the time. “We hope the Supreme Court of the United States will agree that every American should be free to live and work according to their beliefs and without fear of punishment by their government.”

Victory for Faith-Based Businesses  

On December 11, 2014—nearly one year after the original lawsuit was filed—a United State District Court Judge issued a final order and injunction for Hastings Automotive, Inc. and Hastings Chrysler Center, and owner Doug Erickson in their legal challenge against the federal government’s Abortion Pill Mandate. The ruling ensured that Erickson and his businesses are no longer required to provide abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.

“It has long been my conviction to run my business according to the teachings of my faith,” Erickson said. “I am grateful that the court’s ruling today allows me to remain obedient to the convictions of my faith without compromising my beliefs to obey government.”

“The Court’s ruling reaffirms the constitutional principle that every American is free to live and work according to their beliefs, without fear of punishment by their government,” Dys said.  “The government should never coerce faith-based, for-profit businessmen to violate their religious beliefs.”

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: December 11, 2014

FEDERAL COURT VICTORY FOR FAITH-BASED MINNESOTA CAR DEALERSHIPS IN CHALLENGE TO HHS ABORTION PILL MANDATE

Liberty Institute Secures Permanent Injunction that Prevents Federal Government from Forcing Christian Businessman to Violate His Beliefs in Order to Comply with Federal Law


MINNEAPOLIS, MN, December 11, 2014—Today, United States District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson issued a final order and injunction for Hastings, Minnesota car dealerships, Hastings Automotive, Inc. and Hastings Chrysler Center, and owner Doug Erickson in their legal challenge against the federal government’s Abortion Pill Mandate. Today’s ruling means that Erickson and his businesses are no longer required to provide abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.

“The Court’s ruling reaffirms the constitutional principle that every American is free to live and work according to their beliefs, without fear of punishment by their government,” said Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for Liberty Institute.  “The government should never coerce faith-based, for-profit businessmen to violate their religious beliefs.”

“It has long been my conviction to run my business according to the teachings of my faith,”said Doug Erickson. “I am grateful that the court’s ruling today allows me to remain obedient to the convictions of my faith without compromising my beliefs to obey government.”

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Press Releases

First Liberty Press Release – 03/24/14

First Liberty Press Release – 01/29/14

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