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Fr. Pavone: We Are Going to the Supreme Court

Priests for Life Case Likely to be First to be Heard on Merits


Priests for Life

Priests for Life-Staten Island, NY


Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said today that Priests for Life will take its challenge to the HHS Mandate to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks.

"Yesterday, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit told us what we expected, namely, that they would not rehear before the whole court ("en banc") our case in which a three-judge panel ruled against us this past November. What we do now, therefore is that in the next few days, we request a stay of the mandate, so that the injunction we already have protecting us from the mandate remains in place while we appeal to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, we are already preparing our request of the Supreme Court to hear our case, and that has to be submitted in the next 90 days," Fr. Pavone explained.

Priests for Life, which is represented by the American Freedom Law Center,  launched the fourth of the numerous lawsuits that have been filed against Obama's HHS mandate back in February of 2012. Since then, the Priests for Life case has been among the fastest moving cases, having already had arguments and a decision on the merits of the case both on the District Court and Circuit Court level.

Some of the other cases are still awaiting the decisions on the merits of the arguments at the Circuit Court level; others have not yet had those arguments, and still others are still working at the lower District Court level. Moreover, Supreme Court involvement up to now has been on rulings related to preliminary injunctions, that is, protecting organizations from the effects of the mandate while the merits of the  cases are still being argued in lower courts. Priests for Life did not need the Supreme Court to grant an injunction, because the lower courts had already done so as Priests for Life had requested.

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel for the American Freedom Law Center, which represents Priests for Life, said of yesterday’s ruling:

“While it was certainly a long shot that the D.C. Circuit would grant review of our petition for full court review in light of the fact that this is the court that Harry Reid packed with Obama judges via the ‘nuclear option,’ the fact that we have three dissenting judges will greatly assist our efforts to get the Supreme Court to review this very important religious freedom case.” (See the American Freedom Law Center's full release at

Fr. Pavone added, "We look forward to going to the highest court in the land with arguments that we know are valid from both a moral and legal standpoint. We pray that they will accept the case. But should the Court ultimately refuse to hear the case or ultimately rule that we need to obey the mandate, let me be crystal clear today as I have been in the past: We will obey God rather than men."

For details and developments on our case, see


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Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •