University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Johnson Welded Products, Inc. v. Sebelius FA-DC-0008
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-00609 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On April 30, 2013, a for-profit company filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the First Amendment, Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedure Act . The plaintiff, ... read more >
On April 30, 2013, a for-profit company filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the First Amendment, Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedure Act . The plaintiff, represented by the American Freedom Law Center, asked the court for an exception to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage of contraception. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that providing insurance coverage of contraception would violate the religious beliefs of the corporation's owner.

On May 24, 2013, the plaintiff filed an unopposed motion for a preliminary injunction. The same day, Judge Ellen S. Huvelle entered the preliminary injunction, which directed the defendant not to enforce the ACA insurance mandate regarding contraception against the plaintiff until 30 days after the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Gilardi v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , which involved similar legal issues and the same defendant as this case. Gilardi was held while the Supreme Court decided Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. On June 30, 2014, the court held in Hobby Lobby that the HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate RFRA, when applied to closely-held for-profit corporations.

On October 24, 2014, Judge Huvelle held that based on the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby, the plaintiffs were entitled to a permanent injunction against enforcement of the version of the contraceptive mandate in place on June 30, 2014. Judge Huvelle did not extend the ruling to future versions of the mandate, and directed the parties to come to an agreement on attorney's fees and costs. On January 13, 2015, the district court cancelled the last status conference in this case.

Mallory Jones - 11/07/2013
Kate Craddock - 07/31/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Abortion
Contraception
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Closely-held (for profit) corporation
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. ยงยง 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description A for-profit company seeking exemption from the Affordable Care Act contraception insurance mandate
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FA-DC-0004 : Gilardi v. Dep't of Health and Human Services [Gilardi v. Sebelius] (D.D.C.)
Docket(s)
1:13-cv-609 (D.D.C.) 01/13/2015
FA-DC-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/30/2013
FA-DC-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings 05/24/2013
FA-DC-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Proposed Order Granting Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Injunction 05/24/2013 (D.D.C.)
FA-DC-0008-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 10/24/2014 (D.D.C.)
FA-DC-0008-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Huvelle, Ellen Segal (D.D.C.)
FA-DC-0008-0003 | FA-DC-0008-0004 | FA-DC-0008-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Muise, Robert J. (Michigan)
FA-DC-0008-0001 | FA-DC-0008-0002 | FA-DC-0008-9000
Yerushalmi, David Eliezer (New York)
FA-DC-0008-0001 | FA-DC-0008-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Berwick, Benjamin Leon (District of Columbia)
FA-DC-0008-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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