On November 14, 2013, the Archdiocese of St. Louis and its affiliated non-profit charities revived their dismissed claim (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis v. Sebelius
), in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri against the Federal Government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the First Amendment. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage in employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. Plaintiffs contended that this mandatory contraception coverage violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Specifically, the Archdiocese challenged the religious employer exemption and the accommodations put forth in the Final Rule as amended on June 28, 2013, arguing that they continued to burden their free exercise. They argued that the accommodations require non-exempt plaintiffs to provide self-certification to their insurance provider setting forth their religious objections, which in turn triggers an obligation on the part of the insurance provider to procure the services plaintiffs find objectionable. Plaintiffs argued that they are, thus, the but-for cause of providing contraception coverage. Plaintiffs asked the court to grant a permanent injunction against enforcement of the relevant provisions of the ACA.
On May 8, 2014, the Archdiocese filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction seeking to prevent the government from enforcing the contraception mandate against them. On June 30, 2014, Judge John Ross granted the preliminary injunction.
On August 28, 2014, the government filed its Notice of Appeal of the order granting the preliminary injunction. As of February 2, 2015, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to issue a decision on this matter.Richard Jolly - 04/28/2014
Jamie Haberichter - 09/21/2014