On December 10, 2013, the owner of a non-profit religious corporation filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado under the First Amendment, Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause, Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act against the U. ...
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On December 10, 2013, the owner of a non-profit religious corporation filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado under the First Amendment, Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause, Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The plaintiff alleged the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employee health plans provide coverage of contraception violates his religious freedom. The plaintiff, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom and private counsel, asked the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception insurance mandate, even with the accommodation for non-profit religious organizations. Specifically, the plaintiff sought both preliminary and permanent injunctions barring the government from enforcing the contraception insurance mandate against it.
On January 21, 2014, the plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunction on the grounds that the contraception insurance mandate substantially burdened the plaintiff's religious exercise. On April 17, 2014, the Court (Judge Robert E. Blackburn) granted the preliminary injunction. Dobson v. Sebelius, 38 F.Supp.3d 1245 (2014).
The federal government appealed to the Tenth Circuit, and on July 7, 2014, the Tenth Circuit agreed to the parties' request to hold the appeal in abeyance until the seven cases consolidated as Zubik v. Burwell
were resolved by the Supreme Court.
Nearly two years later, on May 16, 2016, in Zubik, the Court issued a per curiam order remanding all seven cases to their respective Courts of Appeals; instructing the lower courts to give the parties time to come to agreement on an approach that that "accommodates petitioners’ religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by petitioners’ health plans 'receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.'" 136 S.Ct 1557, 1560. The Court took no position on the merits of that case.
Two of the Zubik cases had come from the Tenth Circuit -- Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Sebelius
and Southern Nazarene University v. Sebelius
. Both were remanded to the Tenth Circuit as part of the Zubik decision; that judgment issued on June 17, 2016. In this case, on June 22, the U.S. defendants filed a status report requesting another 30 days to evaluate appropriate next steps in light of the Zubik order. As of August 1, 2016, no further action had been taken in this case. Mallory Jones - 03/11/2014
Beth Richardson - 06/05/2015
Kate Craddock - 07/24/2016