Faith just won a round in court.

As President Obama’s mandated insurance coverage of sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs takes effect on August 1 for ordinary businesses, the Health and Human Services mandate’s ultimate survival suddenly appears blessedly jeopardized.

Federal district Judge John J. Kane of Colorado on Friday issued a temporary injunction blocking the mandate from being applied to Hercules Industries, a family-owned manufacturer of air-conditioning products.

That the order comes from a non-conservative judge – Kane is a former public defender and Peace Corps deputy director sponsored by liberal former Sen. Gary Hart and appointed by Democratic President Jimmy Carter – is an especially huge development, striking more deeply at the mandate than conventional wisdom anticipated.

‘While the injunction doesn’t block the mandate nationwide, it sends an unmistakable message.’

Most of the attention to the fight against the mandate has focused on faith-affiliated schools and charitable institutions, many of them Catholic but some Protestant, which argue that the mandate grossly infringes their First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion. Dozens of lawsuits from such institutions are pending.

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