University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Union University v. Sebelius FA-TN-0002
Docket / Court 1:14−cv−01079−JDB−egb ( W.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On April 4, 2014, Union University, a Baptist college, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act against the Department of Health and Human Services. The university, represented by private ... read more >
On April 4, 2014, Union University, a Baptist college, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act against the Department of Health and Human Services. The university, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate violated its sincerely held religious beliefs; the First Amendment's establishment clause and freedom of speech; and the Fifth Amendment's equal protection clause.

The university moved for a preliminary injunction blocking HHS from implementing the mandate. HHS did not oppose the motion. Though the agency did not believe the university would win on the merits, it agreed that the case should be stayed in light of two similar cases currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. On April 29, 2014, the court (Judge Daniel Breen) granted the preliminary injunction and stayed the case until resolution of the pending appeals in the similar cases.

Andrew Junker - 10/08/2014


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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
Disparate Treatment
School/University policies
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit religious organization
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
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. Government
Plaintiff Description A Baptist college
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:14−cv−01079−JDB−egb (W.D. Tenn.) 05/02/2014
FA-TN-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/04/2014
FA-TN-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiff's Mot. for Prel. Injunc. 04/29/2014 (W.D. Tenn.)
FA-TN-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Breen, J. Daniel (W.D. Tenn.) [Magistrate]
FA-TN-0002-0002 | FA-TN-0002-9000
Bryant, Edward G. Court not on record
FA-TN-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burleson, John D. (Tennessee)
FA-TN-0002-0001 | FA-TN-0002-9000
Conder, Milton Dale (Tennessee)
FA-TN-0002-0001 | FA-TN-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)
FA-TN-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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