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Case Name University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius FA-IN-0005
Docket / Court 3:13-cv-01276 ( N.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On December 3, 2013, the University of Notre Dame, a religious non-profit university, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Notre Dame alleged that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) ... read more >
On December 3, 2013, the University of Notre Dame, a religious non-profit university, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Notre Dame alleged that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception insurance mandate, even with the accommodation for non-profit religious organizations, violated the establishment clause and free speech clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Notre Dame sought preliminary and permanent injunctions barring the government from enforcing the contraception insurance mandate to avoid a violation of Notre Dame's deeply-held religious beliefs.

On December 20, 2013, the District Court (Judge Philip P. Simon) denied Notre Dame's motion for preliminary injunction. The Court found that the ACA's insurance accommodation, which allowed the head of an eligible organization to provide self-certification which in turn triggered a third-party administrator to provide contraception coverage to the organization's employees, did not impose a substantial burden on the free exercise of the religion. University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius, 988 F.Supp.2d 912 (N.D. IN. 2013) The same day, Notre Dame filed an interlocutory appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (No. 13-3853) and a motion for preliminary injunction with the District Court pending their appeal.

On December 23, 2013, the District Court denied the plaintiff's motion for injunction pending appeal and on December 30, 2013, the Seventh Circuit denied the plaintiff's emergency motion for injunction pending appeal.

On February 21, 2014, the Seventh Circuit (Judge Richard Posner) affirmed the District Court's denial of preliminary injunction. The Court of Appeals found that the ACA's insurance accommodation was consistent with the balancing act required by RFRA and therefore it did not substantially burden the free exercise of plaintiffs. University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius, 743 F.3d 547 (N.D. IN. 2014).
On May 7, 2014, the Seventh Circuit denied plaintiffs' April 4, 2014, motion for rehearing.

Notre Dame sought review in the Supreme Court, and on March 9, 2015, the Court granted the writ of certiorari, vacating the judgment and remanding the case to the Seventh Circuit for further consideration in light of its decision (after the 7th Circuit's decision) in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014). University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, 135 U.S. 1258 (2015) (cert. granted). In Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court had held that the HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violated RFRA, when applied to closely-held for-profit corporations. The Court emphasized, however, that alternative methods for meeting the government's asserted interest were available.

On remand, after hearing oral arguments on April 22, 2015, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the District Court's denial of preliminary injunction on May 19, 2015, holding that Notre Dame had not met its burden of establishing an entitlement to a preliminary injunction. University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, 786 F.3d 606 (7th Cir. 2015).

Notre Dame sought rehearing on July 2, 2015; the case is pending.

Mallory Jones - 04/07/2014
Richard Jolly - 05/11/2014
Beth Richardson - 07/08/2015


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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 denied
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Abortion
Contraception
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit religious organization
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description A non-profit, religious university.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
None
Source of Relief None yet
None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing FA-IN-0001 : University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius (N.D. Ind.)
Docket(s)
3:13-cv-1276 (N.D. Ind.) 06/09/2015
FA-IN-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
13-3853 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 07/07/2015
FA-IN-0005-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 12/03/2013
FA-IN-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 12/20/2013 (988 F.Supp.2d 912) (N.D. Ind.)
FA-IN-0005-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Opinion Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction Pending Appeal 12/23/2013 (N.D. Ind.)
FA-IN-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Order Affirming District Court's Judgment] 02/21/2014 (743 F.3d 547)
FA-IN-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
USSC Opinion 03/09/2015 (135 U.S. 1258)
FA-IN-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Final Order Affirming District Court's Judgment 05/19/2015 (786 F.3d 606)
FA-IN-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Flaum, Joel Martin (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit)
FA-IN-0005-0004 | FA-IN-0005-0005
Hamilton, David Frank (S.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit)
FA-IN-0005-0004 | FA-IN-0005-0005
Nuechterlein, Christopher A. (N.D. Ind.) [Magistrate]
FA-IN-0005-9000
Posner, Richard Allen (Seventh Circuit)
FA-IN-0005-0004 | FA-IN-0005-0005
Simon, Philip P. (N.D. Ind.)
FA-IN-0005-0002 | FA-IN-0005-0003 | FA-IN-0005-9000 | FA-IN-0005-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Corr, Marriane (Indiana)
FA-IN-0005-0001
DeJulius, Leon F. Jr. (Pennsylvania)
FA-IN-0005-0001
Hogan, Carol A. (Illinois)
FA-IN-0005-0001
Kairis, Matthew A (Ohio)
FA-IN-0005-0001 | FA-IN-0005-9000 | FA-IN-0005-9001
Kilmartin, Alison J. (Pennsylvania)
FA-IN-0005-0001 | FA-IN-0005-9000
Murray, Brian Joseph (Illinois)
FA-IN-0005-0001
Palmisciano, Melissa D (Ohio)
FA-IN-0005-0001 | FA-IN-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Jed, Adam C. (District of Columbia)
FA-IN-0005-9001
Klein, Alisa B. (District of Columbia)
FA-IN-0005-9001
Pollack, Michael Charles (District of Columbia)
FA-IN-0005-9000
Pruski, Jacek (District of Columbia)
FA-IN-0005-9000
Saltman, Julie Shana (District of Columbia)
FA-IN-0005-9000
Stern, Mark B. (District of Columbia)
FA-IN-0005-9001
Other Lawyers Khan, Ayesha N. (District of Columbia)
FA-IN-0005-9000 | FA-IN-0005-9001
Lee, Jennifer (New York)
FA-IN-0005-9000
Moskowitz, Seymour (Indiana)
FA-IN-0005-9000

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