Split decisions in US courts on challenges to HHS mandate
January 31, 2013
A federal appeals court has given another legal victory to a Catholic-owned business challenging the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate, while another court has thrown out a challenge brought by a Catholic archdiocese.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 split decision, approved an injunction to halt enforcement of the HHS mandate until the resolution of a lawsuit brought by Grote Industries, a business whose owners said that providing contraceptive coverage for employees would be a violation of their religious principles.
In Missouri, District Judge John Ross dismissed a suit brought by the St. Louis archdiocese, saying that the complaint was premature because the HHS mandate has not taken effect and the Obama administration has promised accommodations to satisfy the concerns of religious institutions.
The two conflicting decisions echo previous decisions by federal courts around the US. The clash between these decisions virtually guarantees that the legal debate over the HHS mandate will be taken up soon by the US Supreme Court.
- 7th Circuit Enjoins Enforcement of Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Against Catholic-Owned Small Business (Religion Clause)
- US Court of Appeals (text of opinion)
- Judge dismisses St. Louis Archdiocese's lawsuit challenging contraception mandate (Post-Dispatch)
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