Notre Dame Refiles Its Lawsuit against the HHS Mandate

As a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (class of 1950) and a former instructor there, I was happy to see that Notre Dame has refiled its lawsuit challenging the federal government’s Health and Human Services mandate that religious employers must provide contraceptive coverage (including abortion-inducing drugs) to their employees.

The lawsuit [PDF] was filed Tuesday in the Northern District of Indiana.  It says the government does not have the right to impose any rules on the university that violates its Roman Catholic principles, but that the University should have the same blanket exemption that applies to houses of worship.

Notre Dame had first filed against the government in May of last year, but a federal judge deemed it premature because the Obama administration had not yet enforced the mandate, but held it off until January 2014.

Father John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, said the lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference.

Last week the Supreme Court agreed to consider the objections of two non-Catholic for-profit religious employers.  To date, 87 lawsuits have been filed challenging the health care law’s contraceptive mandate. We’ll have a ruling from the Supreme Court by next summer.

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