Priests for Life

 

OTHER SECTIONS
America Will Not Reject Abortion Until America
Sees Abortion


Prayer Campaign

Join our Facebook Cause
"Pray to End Abortion"


Take Action

Social Networking

Rachel's Vineyard,
A Ministry of Priests For Life


Silent No More Awareness Campaign, A Project
of Priests For Life

Clergy Resources
SIGN UP FOR EMAIL


 

HHS Lawsuit Information

TIMELINE OF LAWSUITS AGAINST OBAMACARE’S ABORTIFACIENT/CONTRACEPTIVE/STERILIZATION MANDATE

PDF of all Lawsuits as listed below

November 10, 2011:  Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius

December 21, 2011:  Colorado Christian University v. Sebelius

February 9, 2012: Eternal Word Television Network v. Sebelius

February 15, 2012:  Priests for Life v. Sebelius

February 20, 2012:  Louisiana College v. Sebelius

February 21, 2012:  Ave Maria University v. Sebelius

February 21, 2012: Geneva College v. Sebelius

February 23, 2012: Bruning v. Sebelius

March 15, 2012: O’Brien v. Sebelius

April 3, 2012: Newland v. Sebelius

May 8, 2012: Legatus v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: Franciscan University of Steubenville v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: Archdiocese of New York v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: Diocese of Erie v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: Diocese of Pittsburgh v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: Diocese of Dallas v. Sebelius

May 21, 2021: Diocese of Ft. Worth v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: Diocese of Biloxi v. Sebelius

May 21, 2012: Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

May 21, 2012: Diocese of Joliet v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

May 21, 2012: Archdiocese of St. Louis v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

July 18, 2012: Wheaton College v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

August 9, 2012: Diocese of Peoria v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

August 22, 2012: Triune Health Group v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

August 23, 2012 Grace Schools v. Sebelius

September 12, 2012: Diocese of Nashville v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

September 12, 2012: Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

September 17, 2012: College of the Ozarks v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

October 2, 2012: Tyndale House v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

October 5, 2012: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

October 8, 2012: Autocam Corp. v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

October 9, 2012: East Texas Baptist University & Houston Baptist University v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

October 9, 2012:  Korte & Luitjohan Contractors v. Sebelius

October 19, 2012: Griesedieck v. Sebelius

October 19, 2012:  Roman Catholic Diocese of Miami v. Sebelius

October 29, 2012:  Grote Industries v. Sebelius

November 1, 2012:  Criswell College v. Sebelius

November 2, 2012:   Annex Medical v. Sebelius  

December 4, 2012:  Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius

December 14, 2012:  Domino’s Farms v. Sebelius

December 20, 2012: Sharpe Holdings, Inc. v. Sebelius

January 10, 2013: Infrastructure Alternatives v. Sebelius

January 14, 2013: Sioux Chief Manufacturing v. Sebelius

January 24, 2013: Gilardi v. Sebelius

February 4, 2013: Briscoe v. Sebelius

February 5, 2013: Hall v. Sebelius

February 14, 2013: Lindsay v. Sebelius

February 20, 2013: American Family Association v. Sebelius

March 5, 2013: Armstrong v. Sebelius

March 12, 2013: Beckwith v. Sebelius

March 13, 2013: Bick Holdings, Inc. v. Sebelius

March 20, 2013: Eden Foods v. Sebelius

March 21, 2013: Mersino Management Co. v. Sebelius

March 26, 2013: Hart Electric, LLC v. Sebelius

March 28, 2013: MK Chambers Co. v. Sebelius

April 30, 2013: Johnson Welded Products, Inc. v. Sebelius

May 1, 2013: Ozinga v. Sebelius

May 8, 2013: M&N Plastics, Inc. v. Sebelius

June 7, 2013: SMA, LLC v. Sebelius

June 24, 2013: Holland v. Sebelius

July 2, 2013: The QC Group, Inc. v. Sebelius

July 24, 2013: Willis & Willis, PLC v. Sebelius

August 5, 2013: Trijicon, Inc. v. Sebelius

August 14, 2013: Wieland v. Sebelius

September 4, 2013: Barron Industries, Inc. v. Sebelius

September 5, 2013: Midwest Fastener Corp. v. Sebelius

September 20, 2013: South Nazarene University v. Sebelius

September 24, 2013: Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius

October 11, 2013: Guidestone v. Sebelius

Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
Filed 11-10-11

Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic fine arts university founded by Benedictine monks, alleges that the Obamacare regulation requiring that health insurance plans cover abortifacients, contraceptives, sterilization, and associated counseling violates religious liberty rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, First Amendment free speech rights, and the right of public comment under the federal Administrative Procedure Act. Belmont Abbey asks the court to enjoin enforcement of the regulation against it and other religious organizations.

Plaintiff:

Belmont Abbey College
Belmont, North Carolina

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary

Attorney for Plaintiffs: The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Colorado Christian University v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
Filed 12-21-12

Colorado Christian University, a Christian liberal arts institution of higher learning, is suing the federal government, charging that the Obamacare health insurance regulation forces it to pay for abortifacient drugs and devices contrary to the religious beliefs upon which the school is founded. The lawsuit alleges that the federal regulation violates the First Amendment’s rights of religious freedom and speech, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act and asks that the court issue an injunction to bar enforcement of the regulation against Colorado Christian University and other religious organizations.

Plaintiff:

Colorado Christian University
Lakewood, CO

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary

Attorney for Plaintiff: The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Eternal Word Television Network v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
Filed 2-9-12

EWTN, the largest Catholic media network in the world, alleges that the federal rule requiring it and other religious organizations to provide health insurance coverage for abortifacients, contraception, sterilization, and associated counseling or pay significant financial penalties is a violation of its rights under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. It asks the court to grant an injunction barring enforcement of the rule against EWTN and other religious organizations.

Plaintiff:

Eternal Word Television Network
Irondale, AL

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary

Attorney for Plaintiff: The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Priests for Life v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
Filed 2-15-12

“Priests for Life asserts that provisions of the regulations promulgated under the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ which require employers to provide insurance plans that include coverage for contraception, sterilization, abortifacients, and related education and counseling or incur substantial penalty fines… violate Priests for Life’s rights to the free exercise of religion and the freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.” It asks the court to bar the enforcement of the Obamacare regulation not only against PFL, but any other person or group that objects to providing coverage for abortifacients, contraception, sterilization, and related education or counseling.

Plaintiff:

Priests for Life
Staten Island, NY

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Charles S. LiMandri - Teresa Mendoza

Louisiana College v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
Filed 2-20-12

Louisiana College, a Baptist university established in 1906, declares that it “cannot provide health care insurance covering abortion, abortifacient or embryo-endangering methods, or related education and counseling without violating its deeply held religious beliefs and its Christian witness.” It alleges that the federal rule mandating that health insurance policies cover abortifacient drugs and devices violates religious liberty rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment, free speech rights under the First Amendment, and due process rights under the Fifth Amendment and asks the court to enjoin enforcement of the mandate against any individual or employer.

Plaintiff:

Louisiana College
Pinesville, Louisiana

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Alliance Defense Fund
J. Michael Johnson, Dean, Louisiana College School of Law

Ave Maria University v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
Filed 2-21-12

Ave Maria University, a Catholic institution of higher learning, alleges that the federal government’s rule requiring health insurance plans to cover abortifacients, contraceptives, sterilization, and associated counseling violates religious freedom rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, First Amendment free speech rights, and the Administrative Procedure Act. Ave Maria’s lawsuit asks that enforcement of the federal rule be enjoined against it and other religious organizations.

Plaintiff:

Ave Maria University
Ave Maria, Florida

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty - Cheffy Passidomo

Geneva College v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Filed 2-21-12

Geneva College, founded in 1848 and associated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, alleges that the federal government’s rule requiring that health insurance plans cover abortifacient drugs and devices “illegally and unconstitutionally coerces [the school] to violate the Sixth Commandment under threat of heavy fines and penalties.” As such, Geneva College charges the Obama administration with violating religious liberty rights guaranteed under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, First Amendment free speech rights, and Fifth Amendment due process rights and asks that the federal rule be enjoined from enforcement against any individual or employer.

Plaintiff:

Geneva College
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Alliance Defense Fund - Tucker Arensberg

Bruning v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
Filed 2-23-12

Seven states, various Catholic organizations, and two employees of Catholic organizations allege that the federal government’s rule mandating abortifacient, contraceptive, and sterilization coverage in health insurance policies violates the First Amendment rights of religion, speech, and association of religious organizations and their employees, and their religious liberty rights guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The lawsuit also alleges that the federal rule would cause religious organizations to drop health insurance coverage for their employees rather than violate their religious beliefs. It also declares that many organizations will cease operations completely rather than pay the hefty fines required under the President’s health care law for dropping such coverage. The resulting increase in employees without health insurance coverage would cause “an immediate and substantial spike in the number of enrollments” in state Medicaid plans and more fiscal costs to states.

Plaintiffs:

Jon Bruning, Attorney General of Nebraska
Alan Wilson, Attorney General of South Carolina
Bill Schuette, Attorney General of Michigan
Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas
Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General of Florida
Michael DeWine, Attorney General of Ohio
Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma
Sister Mary Catherine, CK
Stacy Molai
Catholic Social Services
Pius X Catholic High School
The Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Jon C. Bruning, Attorney General of Nebraska
David D. Cookson, Chief Deputy Attorney General of Nebraska
Katherine J. Spohn, Special Counsel to the Attorney General
Rocky C. Weber, Crosby Guenzel LLP
Don Blankenau, Blankenau Wilmoth, LLP
Alan Wilson, Attorney General of South Carolina
William Schuette, Attorney General of Michigan
Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas
Mike DeWine, Attorney General of Ohio
E. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma
Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General of Florida

O’Brien v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
Filed 3-15-12

Frank R. O’Brien and O’Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC of St. Louis, Missouri allege that the Obama administration’s rule requiring abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization coverage in health care plans violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. They ask the court to enjoin the implementation of the federal regulation against any person or employer with a religious objection to it.

This is the first lawsuit brought by an individual or private employer not affiliated with any religious institution or organization. Mr. O’Brien is a Catholic who says that his beliefs form the framework for his 87-employee company’s operation. His lawsuit states that the government’s mandate "imposes a substantial burden on Plaintiffs' free exercise of religion by coercing Plaintiffs to choose between conducting their business in accordance with their religious beliefs or paying substantial penalties to the government."

Plaintiffs:

Frank R. O’Brien
O’Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary
Department of the Treasure, Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary
Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, Secretary

Attorneys for Plaintiffs:

CatholicVote.org Legal Fund

American Center for Law and Policy
Washington, DC

Patrick T. Gillen
Ave Maria School of Law
Naples, FL

Legatus v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
Filed May 7, 2012

Legatus is a non-profit membership organization of over 4,000 Catholic business persons and their spouses from over 2,100 Catholic run companies in the United States. It is joined in this lawsuit by plaintiffs Daniel Weingartz, a Legatus member, and Weingartz Supply Company, of which Daniel Weingartz is president. Like most members of Legatus, Weingartz Supply Company employs over 50 people and is subject to Obamacare’s abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization mandate.

The plaintiffs allege that the Obama administration’s actions requiring them “to change or violate their religious beliefs” violate the First Amendment’s rights to freedom of religion, speech, and association, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. They seek preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting the federal government from enforcing the abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization mandate against any employer, individual, or company that objects to it.

Plaintiffs:

Legatus
Weingartz Supply Company
Daniel Weingartz, President of Weingartz Supply Company

Defendants:

Department of Health and Human Services
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Department of Labor
Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Department of the Treasury
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Thomas More Law Center
Law Office of Charles S. Limandri, APC

Newland v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
Filed April 30, 2012

William Newland, James Newland, Paul Newland, Christine Ketterhagen, and Andrew Newland own and operate Hercules Industries, Inc., an HVAC manufacturing corporation. The Newlands, being practicing Catholics, self insure their employees with a health policy that does not cover the costs of abortifacient drugs, contraception, or sterilization.

The Newlands argue that the Obama administration’s mandate that health insurance policies cover abortifacient drugs, contraception, and sterilization “illegally and unconstitutionally coerces the Plaintiffs to violate their sincerely held Catholic beliefs under threat of heavy fines and penalties.” They seek a declaration that the Obamacare mandate violates the First Amendment’s protections of freedom of religion and speech, the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process clause, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. They also seek preliminary and permanent injunctions against the mandate’s enforcement.

Plaintiffs:

William Newland
James Newland
Paul Newland
Christine Ketterhagen
Andrew Newland
Hercules Industries, Inc.

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Labor
Department of the Treasury

Attorneys for the Plaintiffs: Alliance Defense Fund

Franciscan University of Steubenville v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division
Filed May 21, 2012

Franciscan University of Steubenville is a Catholic institution of higher learning that serves and hires people of all faiths. As stated in its “Mission and Application,” Franciscan University is “committed to… [b]eing truly Catholic in its full submission to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church….”

Fellow plaintiff Michigan Catholic Conference is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan. It also administers the health benefit programs for Catholic institutions in the state, including Michigan’s seven dioceses and the charities associated with them.

The plaintiffs allege that the Obama administration’s abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization mandate for health insurance coverage violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion, the First Amendment’s guarantee against the government’s establishment of religion, and the First Amendment’s protection against compelled speech. They also allege that the mandate violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization mandate is unconstitutional and an injunction against the federal government’s enforcement of it.

Plaintiffs:

Franciscan University of Steubenville
Michigan Catholic Conference

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of the Department of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Department of the Treasury
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: JONES DAY
Adam E. Scurti, General Counsel, Franciscan University of Steubenville

University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
Filed May 21, 2012

The University of Notre Dame, a national Catholic institution of higher learning, annually educates 11,500 students and employs 5,000 people of various faiths. It holds that “Catholic teaching and discipline are to influence all university activities,” and “[a]ny official action or commitment of the University [must] be in accord with its Catholic identity.”

While Notre Dame has a contract with Aetna for students’ health insurance, it self-insures its employee health plan, meaning that it does not deal with an outside insurance company, but underwrites all employee health care expenses itself. As such, the Obama administration’s “compromise” that declared insurance companies, not employers, would directly pay for abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization coverage serves not even as a political cover for the administration in this case. Notre Dame is both the insurance company and the employer.

Notre Dame alleges that the government’s health insurance mandate burdens its free exercise of religion protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment. The plaintiff also argues that the mandate violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause by causing the government to question its religious tenets and the beliefs of its students and employees and entangle the government in the affairs of a Catholic institution. In addition, the school alleges that the mandate, by requiring that Notre Dame pay for abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization counseling, compels it to engage in speech that violates its religious beliefs, a requirement contrary to the First Amendment. Finally, the school claims that the mandate was enacted in violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

Notre Dame seeks declaratory judgment that the Obama administration’s health insurance mandate violates the Constitution and the above-named statutes. It also asks for a permanent injunction preventing the enforcement of the regulation.

Plaintiff:

University of Notre Dame

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of the Department of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of Department of the Treasury
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Attorneys for Plaintiff: JONES DAY
Marianne Corr, University of Notre Dame

Archdiocese of New York v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
Filed May 21, 2012

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Center serve New Yorkers of every faith through their schools and charitable efforts. The Catholic Health Care System and Catholic Health Services of Long Island provide health care without regard to religious belief. All of the plaintiffs, obviously, are guided by Roman Catholic teaching.

Plaintiffs argue that in order to qualify for the government’s religious exemption from having to cover abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization in their health insurance plans, they would have to fire all non-Catholic employees and stop serving all non-Catholics. Because of their religious requirements to serve everyone, they cannot do this.

The plaintiffs allege, then, that the Obama administration’s abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion, establishment of religion, and free speech clauses. The mandate would not only prevent the plaintiffs from practicing their faith, it would entangle the government in their faith. The plaintiffs also argue that the Obama administration violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act in adopting the health insurance mandate.

As with other cases filed on May 21, the plaintiffs seek a declarative judgment that the Obamacare abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization requirement is a violation of the above named statutes and the U.S. Constitution. They also ask for an injunction barring the government from enforcing the regulation.

Plaintiffs:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of New York
Catholic Health Care System
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Center, New York
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Center
Catholic Health Services of Long Island

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of the Department of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Department of the Treasury
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Attorneys for the Plaintiffs: JONES DAY

Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
Filed May 21, 2012

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington (i.e., the Archdiocese) and the other plaintiffs in this suit are “Catholic religious entities that provide a wide range of spiritual, educational, and social services to residents in the greater Washington, D.C., community, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.” Their work “is in every respect guided by and consistent with Roman Catholic belief, including the requirement that they serve those in need, regardless of their religion.”

The plaintiffs allege that the Obama administration’s abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization health insurance mandate places a “substantial burden” on their free exercise of religion, a violation of both the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment to the Constitution. They further argue that the mandate brings “excessive entanglement” between the government and religious entities, a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

The plaintiffs also allege that the mandate’s requirement for subsidized counseling for drugs, devices, and services that violate their beliefs is a violation of the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee. Finally, they argue that the Obama administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act in promulgating the regulation.

The Archdiocese and other plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the Obamacare contraceptive mandate violates the above statutes and the Constitution. Further, they ask for an injunction against the enforcement of the mandate.

Plaintiffs:

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington
The Consortium of Catholic Academies of the Archdiocese of Washington, Inc.
Archbishop Carroll High School, Inc.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, Inc.
The Catholic University of America

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of the Department of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Department of the Treasury
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Plaintiffs Attorneys: JONES DAY

Diocese of Erie v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Filed May 21, 2012

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie and its Trustee, Bishop Donald W. Trautman, serve the Catholic and non-Catholic residents of northwestern Pennsylvania through their school system and social service ministries, including those that provide food and shelter to the needy. The St. Martin Center and the Prince of Peace Center help the Diocese carry out some of these programs.

The Diocese of Erie states that it does not know if it would qualify for a religious exemption from the Obama administration’s abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization mandate. The mandate requires that an entity primarily employ and serve people of its own faith in order to qualify as “religious” and, thus, be free from its demands. The Diocese both employs and serves people of other faiths, but because the word “primarily” is vague, it does not know if it qualifies for an exemption.

Plaintiffs St. Martin Center and Prince of Peace Center do not exist “primarily” to inculcate religious beliefs and, so, are not exempt from the Obama administration’s decree, even though they are clearly religious in nature.

All of the plaintiffs would have to stop employing and serving non-Catholics in order to satisfy the government’s definition of a “religious employer.” As their complaint states, “The government… has mandated that Plaintiffs either abandon their religious beliefs or abandon their religious commitment to serve all.”

The lawsuit alleges violations of the plaintiffs’ rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion, establishment of religion, and free speech clauses. It also alleges that the government violated the Administrative Procedure Act in the course of promulgating the regulation. It seeks both a declaratory judgment that the abortifacient/contraceptive/sterilization mandate be struck down and an injunction barring its enforcement.

Plaintiffs:

Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie
St. Martin Center, Inc.
Prince of Peace Center, Inc.

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of the Department of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Department of the Treasury
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Attorneys for the plaintiffs: JONES DAY

Diocese of Dallas v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
Filed 5-21-12

The Diocese of Dallas provides pastoral care and spiritual guidance to over 1 million Catholics and provides education to almost 12,000 students of various faiths though its school system.

The Diocese’s complaint states that in order for it to qualify for the government’s exemption from the HHS mandate it would need “to stop providing educational opportunities to non-Catholics, to stop serving non-Catholics, to fire non-Catholic employees, and to cease hiring non-Catholic persons—actions that would betray its religious commitment to serving all in need without regard to religious belief. Plaintiff’s only other options are to violate its own beliefs and teachings or to disobey the U.S. Government Mandate.”

Citing the lack of clarity in the HHS regulation’s terminology and its unconstitutional requirements, the Diocese charges that the government is violating its rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment. The Diocese also states that in promulgating the regulation, the government violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act. It seeks an order vacating the HHS mandate and an injunction barring the regulation’s enforcement against the plaintiff.

Plaintiff:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of the Treasury

Attorneys for Plaintiff: JONES DAY

Diocese of Fort Worth v. Sebelius  [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division
Filed 5-21-12

The Diocese of Fort Worth ministers to 700,000 Catholics and educates nearly 6,000 Catholic and non-Catholic students through its school system. It also provides numerous charitable programs through its parishes.

In its complaint, the Diocese notes that the HHS mandate violates core Catholic beliefs and that for Catholic entities to be excused from its requirements they “must plead with government bureaucrats for a determination that the employers are sufficiently ‘religious.’” The complaint further states, “This narrow definition of ‘religious employer’ could be read to exclude [the Diocese] even though it is a ‘religious’ organization under any reasonable definition of the term.”

The Diocese alleges that the HHS mandate places a “substantial burden” on its right to free exercise of religion in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment. Further, the Diocese charges that the HHS mandate excessively entangles the government in religion and interferes in internal church governance in violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and that it compels speech in violation of the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee. Finally, the Diocese argues that the mandate was issued in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Plaintiff:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Labor
Department of the Treasury

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

JONES DAY

JOHN W. CRUMLEY, P.C.

Diocese of Biloxi v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division
Filed 5-21-12

The Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, which serves the 70,000 Catholics residing in the 17 counties of southeastern Mississippi, and the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, which serves about 40,000 Catholics residing in the remaining 65 counties of Mississippi, provide aid to all residents of Mississippi through numerous charitable programs. They also educate the religiously diverse student bodies of the schools they operate.

Plaintiffs Catholic Social Services and Catholic Charities assist those in need statewide with various social services, while De l’Epee Deaf Center provides help to the deaf and hard of hearing, regardless of religion, to promote their independence and inclusion in their communities. St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital offers medical help to all, including the homeless and poor.

The two Dioceses allege that the HHS mandate is so narrowly and vaguely drawn that even they cannot determine whether they qualify for a religious exemption from its requirements. The other plaintiffs say that they are likely not to qualify for a religious exemption and, as such, face the prospect of firing all non-Catholic employees and ceasing all assistance to non-Catholics in need or, in the alternative, closing down operations. They will not violate their beliefs in order to meet the government’s demands.

The plaintiffs declare that the HHS mandate violates their right to free exercise of religion under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment; that it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment; that it compels speech in violation of the First Amendment; and that it was enacted in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. They seek a declaratory judgment stating that the law is unconstitutional and in violation of federal statutes, plus an injunction barring its enforcement against them.

Plaintiffs:

Catholic Diocese of Biloxi
Catholic Social and Community Services, Inc.
De l’Epee Deaf Center
Catholic Diocese of Jackson
Vicksburg Catholic School
St. Joseph Catholic School
Catholic Charities
St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Labor
Department of the Treasury

Attorneys for Plaintiffs:

Kevin J. Necaise

Stephen J. Carmody
BRUNINI, GRANTHAM, GROWER &
HEWES, PLLC

JONES DAY

Diocese of Pittsburgh v. Sebelius [Full Text of PDF]
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Filed May 21, 2012

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh and its trustee, Bishop David A. Zubik, serve residents of all faiths in a six-county area of southwestern Pennsylvania through a system of 66 elementary schools, 11 high schools, two schools for children with disabilities, and numerous social services programs. According to their complaint, “Plaintiffs alone serve tens of thousands of people annually that the Government does not or cannot serve and who without Plaintiffs’ assistance would be without shelter, food, prenatal support and care, medical care, and vital educational services.”

The plaintiffs allege that the HHS mandate requiring them to provide their employees with coverage for abortifacients, contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and associated counseling violates their religious beliefs. They further argue that the HHS mandate “excessively
entangles the Government in defining the religious tenets of each organization and its employees
and beneficiaries.” In effect, they say that under the regulation, the federal government must assess the legitimacy of an institution’s religious purpose – the government will unconstitutionally determine which entities are “religious” and which are not.

The lawsuit declares that the HHS mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; the First Amendment’s free speech, free exercise of religion, and establishment of religion clauses; and the Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiffs ask that the HHS mandate be vacated and that an injunction be issued against its enforcement against them.

Plaintiffs:

Bishop David A. Zubik of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
Catholic Charities of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Catholic Cemetaries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh

Defendants:

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Plaintiffs’ Attorney: JONES DAY

Grace Schools v. Sebelius [Full Text PDF]
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
Filed August 23, 2012

Grace College and Seminary in Indiana and Biola University in Southern California are independent evangelical Christian colleges. As Christ-centered institutions, they believe that God’s word condemns the destruction of innocent human life. Further, they allege that the Obama administration’s HHS mandate “unconstitutionally coerces” them to violate God’s Sixth Commandment, “thou shall not kill,” and forces them to fund counseling that is contrary to the religious message they teach.

The schools’ lawsuit argues that the HHS mandate violates their right to freely exercise their religion guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; their right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment; and their right to due process under the Fifth Amendment. The schools also allege that the government violated the Administrative Procedure Act in promulgating the mandate without proper public comment.


Plaintiffs

Grace Schools (aka Grace College and Seminary, Grace Theological Seminary)
Biola University


Defendants

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Labor
Department of the Treasury

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Alliance Defending Freedom

 

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org