Catholic CEO asks Supreme Court to Protect Family’s Religious Freedom

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Today John Kennedy, CEO of Autocam, an international company with 700 employees based in the United States, filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States asking them to review the Sixth Circuit decision which held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act did not protect their efforts to conduct business according to their faith. The petition is linked here.

“The HHS Mandate is forcing me and my family to choose between practicing our religion, losing our family business, or stripping our employees of benefits they need,” said Kennedy. “The Sixth Circuit said our faith has nothing to do with running the business.  But our faith is why we work very hard to treat our employees well.  I cannot understand why the Sixth Circuit refused to protect our efforts to live our faith when running our business.”

The Kennedy family owns and controls Autocam and they adhere to the teachings of the Catholic faith when operating their business.   By virtue of the Catholic teaching about the dignity of workers, they provide generous wages and an award winning benefits plan.  But they do not cover abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraceptive drugs or devices because doing so would violate their religious beliefs.  The HHS Mandate forces the Kennedys to provide access to those drugs, devices, and procedures or pay $19,000,000 in fines.  They can avoid the mandate and fines by stripping their employees of coverage but think that would be wrong.

The Kennedys filed suit under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits the federal government from imposing a substantial burden on their exercise of religion.  The Sixth Circuit said the act did not apply because they were conducting business for profit.

“The bottom line of the Sixth Circuit’s opinion is that religious liberty means nothing more than a right to pray within the four walls of a church.  The idea seems to be that religious believers should check their faith at the door on their way out of church.  That is a truly hollow view of religious liberty that is at odds with the finest traditions of our nation.” said Patrick T. Gillen, lead counsel on the lawsuit.

The Kennedy family is represented by the Legal Defense Fund and the Thomas More Society, Chicago, IL.

To view the petition, please go here:

To speak with John Kennedy or counsel, please contact Kristina Hernandez at 703-373-0632 or


Categories:Health Care Law Religious Liberty


  • Mary Smith

    I am sorry, but I disagree with your lawsuit. It is your right to practice your faith, but not your right to impose your beliefs on your employees. I do not know if you employ only Catholic employees, but that still does not give you the right to impose your faith on them via their health insurance. I thought there was an option people could elect to have this coverage added to their insurance benefits when an employee did not provide that benefit – or does that apply only to organizations who are not-for-profit religious organizations?

  • Sister Lucy

    Mr. Kennedy,

    I support you in prayer.


  • samwise

    Shout out to St. Isidore’s in Grand Rapids!

  • Timothy J. Barrett

    I will always happily remind my more liberal friends that Catholics were, and will continue to be, very active in American throughout history.

    Need proof? See Volume II of de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America Chapter’s V.

    Yours in Christ,

    • Timothy J. Barrett

      I meant to write American Politics.



Receive our updates via email.