Official Documents Related to the Priests for Life Lawsuit Against the HHS Mandate

On this page you will find an archive of legal documents about our lawsuit.

Priests for Life Lawsuit Timeline (pdf)

Overview of the Priests for Life Lawsuit (pdf)

2017 Status
October 23, 2017: Read the text of the Settlement
July 11, 2017: Government Status Report - Letter Accompanying Status Report
2016 - Supreme Court Documents - Filings of Petitioners

May 16, 2016: Supreme Court Order in Priests for Life vs. HHS (Part of Zubik vs. Burwell)

April 12, 2016:
Supplemental Brief for Petitioners filed in case numbers 14-1418, 14-1453, 14-1505, 15-35, 15-105, 15-119, & 15-191. Copies were sent to the Court via hand-delivery on April 12, 2016. This brief answers the questions of the Court posed in a special order to the petitioners shortly after the recent oral arguments. The brief describes less restrictive means for the government to pursue its objectives than to burden the free exercise of religion by the petitioners.

The government’s brief is here. The Court order requesting the briefs is here.

Case nos. and titles:

14-1418, David A. Zubik, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell of Health & Human Services, et al.
14-1453, Priests for Life, et al. v. Department of Health & Human Services, et al.
14-1505, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health & Human Services, et al.
15-35, East Texas Baptist University, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health & Human Services, et al.
15-105, Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, Denver, Colorado, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health & Human Services, et al.
15-119, Southern Nazarene University, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health & Human Services, et al.
15-191, Geneva College v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health & Human Services, et al.

April 20, 2016: Each side (government and petitioners) having seen the other's April 12 brief (above), both submitted their responses to those April 12 briefs.  Petitioner Brief - Government Brief

November 2016: Status Reports of the Government and Plaintiffs-Appellants to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

May 26, 2016: Priests for Life letter to US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Court in light of the Supreme Court order on May 16

May 23, 2016: Letter from the Government to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
in light of the Supreme Court order on May 16

March 23, 2016: Transcript of Oral Arguments


March 2016: Priests for Life Response to Government Opposition Brief

February 2016: Government Opposition Brief

January 2016: Priests for Life Opening Merits Brief

January 2016: Opening Merits for other Petitioners

January 2016: Opening Merits Appendix 1 - Appendix 2 - Appendix 3  

Supreme Court Monthly Arguments Calendar for March

2016 Supreme Court Documents - Friends of the Court Briefs

Members of Congress

Former Justice Department Officials

Bart Stupak and the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence

Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund, Inc.

Liberty Counsel

Dominican Sisters and Sisters of Life

Concerned Women for America

Religious Institutions

13 Law Professors

Michael J. New, Ph.D., Associate Scholar, Charlotte Lozier Institute

American Center for Law and Justice

Justice and Freedom Fund

Thomas More Law Center

The School of the Ozarks, Inc. D/B/A College of the Ozarks

Association Of American Physicians & Surgeons along with American Association Of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, Physicians For Life, National Association Of Pro Life Nurses, National Association Of Catholic Nurses-U.S.A., And The National Catholic Bioethics Center

United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops along with Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance; World Vision, Inc.; Catholic Relief Services; Family Research Council; Association Of Catholic Colleges And Universities; Thomas More Society; And The Cardinal Newman Society

US Justice Foundation along with Eberle Communications Group, Public Advocate of the U.S., Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Institute on the Constitution, Policy Analysis Center, Southwest Prophecy Ministries, Daniel
Chapter One, and Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall

Eternal Word Television Network

Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. et al

Knights of Columbus

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the International Mission Board, and Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Catholic Benefits Association and The Catholic Insurance Company

Ethics and Public Policy Center

Constitutional Law Scholars

Foundation for Moral Law

Orthodox Jewish Rabbis

Catholic Theologians and Ethicists

Cato Institute and Independent Women's Forum

National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs "COLPA"

Residents and Families of Residents at Homes of the Little Sisters of the Poor

CNS International Ministries Inc., and Heartland Christian College

Breast Cancer Prevention Institute

Catholic Defense League

Women Speak for Themselves

National Association of Evangelicals along with The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, The Assemblies Of God, The Sisters Of St. Francis Of Perpetual Adoration, And Colorado Christian University

Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. along with International Society For Krishna Consciousness, Inc., Islamic Center Of Murfreesboro, And Pastor Robert Soto And Other Members Of The Lipan Apache Tribe

2015 2014

November 20, 2015: Supreme Court docket showing the question we presented to the Court for resolution and the fact that the petition was granted (and consolidated with the others).

August 14, 2015: Supreme Court considering Priests for Life case against HHS mandate. Priests for life, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services

July 14, 2015: Friend of the Court Brief

July 9, 2015: A letter from the government to the Court asking for more time to reply to our petition.

June 10, 2015: Order granting stay

June 9, 2015: Petition asking he Supreme Court to hear our case

May 2015: Motion to Stay Mandate: Asking court to prevent implementation of mandate while appeal goes forward

May 2015: Order from the court: They will not rehear Priests for Life case in front of all the judges

May 4, 2015
Letter Sent to DC Court to Strengthen Argument in Light of Supreme Court Action

January 15, 2015
Government's response to Priests for Life appeal to the full body of judges. (pdf)

Motion for summary judgment
Robert J. Muise Declaration

Plaintiffs' Motion for Judgment
Plaintiff's Statement of Material Facts

December 26, 2014
Text of the appeal to the full body of Judges of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. (pdf)

Addendum to the Appeal (pdf)

November 14, 2014
US Court of Appeal Rules Against Priests for Life in Challenge to HHS Mandate.

Read the full text of the Court's decision (pdf)

Help Priests for Life take our case to the Supreme Court 

September 16, 2014
Brief filed with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, updating them about how we believe recent developments strengthen our case.

June 30, 2014:
Documents submitted to the DC Circuit Court of
appeals in light of the Hobby Lobby decision.

     To the DC Circuit Court of Appeals re: Hobby Lobby (pdf)

     To the DC Circuit Court of Appeals re: EWTN (pdf)

April 11, 2014:
Brief filed for oral arguments scheduled for May 8 in the United States Court of Appeals

February 28, 2014:
Opening brief filed in the DC Circuit by the Priests for Life Attorneys

Reply of Priests for Life to government’s objection to our Appeal to Supreme Court

January 23, 2014:
Petition for Writ of Certiorari


December 31, 2013:
Priests for Life wins temporary injunction against mandate

Order Granting Injunction
Priests for Life Press Release
American Freedom Law Center Press Release
Fr. Frank's Video about the decision

December 19, 2013:
Press Release:
Fr. Pavone: ‘We will not obey this mandate’
Order from the Judge
Memorandum Opinion
Fr. Frank on Fox talking about the December 9 Court Proceedings

December 2013:
Notice of Supplemental Authority, Archdiocese of New York.
Plaintiff's Supplemental Memorandum

October 2013:
Priests for Life replies to Obama Administration’s Motion to Dismiss Case
Robert J. Muise Declaration
Declaration of Priests for Life
Plaintiff's Reply
Plaintiff Response to Defendant Statement

October 2013:
Priests for Life Case Against HHS Mandate
Moves Forward

October 2013:
The government requested to delay the case
during the government "slowdown" and the request was denied by the judge
Press Release - Order Denying Stay

September 2013:
Priests for Life Asks D.C. Federal Court to
Halt Enforcement of Obamacare “Contraception Mandate”

Related Documents:
Preliminary Injunction
Fr. Frank Pavone Declaration
Janet Morana Declaration
Alveda King Declaration

August 2013:
Priests for Life vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The original text of Priests for Life v. Dept. of Health and Human Services (the original) 

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