University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name March for Life v. Burwell FA-DC-0017
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-01149-RJL ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Case Summary
On June 28, 2013, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Mandate). The regulations of the final rule required health insurance plans to provide coverage of contraception and abortifacients, with an ... read more >
On June 28, 2013, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Mandate). The regulations of the final rule required health insurance plans to provide coverage of contraception and abortifacients, with an exemption for employee health plans offered by churches and their integrated auxiliaries, as well as an accommodation for employee health plans by certain qualified religious organizations.

Plaintiffs are a non-profit, non-religious pro-life organization and its employees who share the same opposition to abortion and coverage of contraception and abortifacients in the employee health plans. Some of the employees hold a religious belief against the use of contraception and abortifacients.

The exemption promulgated by the Health Department did not extend to the plaintiff organization for its non-church non-religious nature. As a result, the organization was unable to provide non-abortifacient health plans to employees without violating the Mandate. As it was also reluctant to drop all health insurance coverage for its employees, the plaintiffs commenced a lawsuit.

On July 7, 2014, the plaintiffs filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against three government agencies, namely the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Labor and the United States Department of the Treasury, under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 500 et seq., the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201, and Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom, sought declaratory and injunctive relief from the Court. They alleged that the Mandate unconstitutionally discriminated against the organization in light of the exemption and accommodation of certain similarly situated entities, and deprived its religious employees of the ability to choose non-abortifacient health plans. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as well as the Equal Protection and Free Exercise clauses in the Constitution of the United States.

The case is ongoing.

Emma Bao - 09/30/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Free Exercise Clause
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Abortion
Contraception
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
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) United States Department of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Labor
United States Department of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description A non-profit, non-religious pro-life organization, which was required under the Affordable Care Act regulations issued by the Health Department to provide coverage of abortifacients in its employee health insurance plans, together with its employees who were against the use of abortifacients.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:14-cv-1149 (D.D.C.) 09/10/2014
FA-DC-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint 07/08/2014
FA-DC-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Leon, Richard J. (D.D.C.)
FA-DC-0017-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aden, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
FA-DC-0017-0001 | FA-DC-0017-9000
Bowman, Matthew S. (District of Columbia)
FA-DC-0017-0001 | FA-DC-0017-9000
Cortman, David A. (Georgia)
FA-DC-0017-0001
Graves, Elissa (Arizona)
FA-DC-0017-0001 | FA-DC-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Grogg, Adam Anderson (District of Columbia)
FA-DC-0017-0001 | FA-DC-0017-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -