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Case Name Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius [II] FA-DC-0019
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-01831 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On November 20, 2013, Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic liberal arts college, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"), and the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"), against the U.S. ... read more >
On November 20, 2013, Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic liberal arts college, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"), and the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"), against the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury. The plaintiff, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that federal rules adopted pursuant to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) violated its religious freedom by requiring it to provide coverage for contraception through its group health insurance plan. Claiming that providing coverage for contraception would both contravene its Catholic faith and compel speech contrary to its beliefs, the plaintiff sought an exemption from the ACA's contraception mandate for itself and other institutions with similar religious objections.

The plaintiff's complaint was substantially similar to one it had filed in 2011, Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius [I], which was dismissed on August 13, 2013 because the contraception mandate had not yet harmed the plaintiffs.

On January 29, 2014, the defendants filed an unopposed motion to stay this case pending the Supreme Court's resolution of Priests for Life v. Sebelius (later consolidated as Zubik v. Sebelius [II] , and heard by the Supreme Court in 2016). On November 3, 2014, the plaintiffs, for unspecified reasons, filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice.

Kate Craddock - 08/07/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Abortion
Contraception
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Defendant(s) United States Department of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Labor
United States Department of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description The plaintiff is a Christian college that opposes the use of contraception for religious reasons, and therefore objects to the contraception mandate in the ACA.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FA-DC-0003 : Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius [I] (D.D.C.)
Docket(s)
13-cv-01831 (D.D.C.) 11/20/2014
FA-DC-0019-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/20/2013
FA-DC-0019-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Voluntary Dismissal 11/03/2014
FA-DC-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cooper, Christopher Reid (D.D.C.)
FA-DC-0019-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Keim, Adele A. (District of Columbia)
FA-DC-0019-0001 | FA-DC-0019-9000
Rienzi, Mark (District of Columbia)
FA-DC-0019-0001 | FA-DC-0019-0002 | FA-DC-0019-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)
FA-DC-0019-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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