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Case Name Grace Schools v. Sebelius FA-IN-0003
Docket / Court 12-cv-459 ( N.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
This is one of many lawsuits brought challenging the Obama administration's 2012 Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring employers to pay for employees' contraception and abortifacients via medical insurance coverage. Many religious hospitals, charities, universities, and other ... read more >
This is one of many lawsuits brought challenging the Obama administration's 2012 Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring employers to pay for employees' contraception and abortifacients via medical insurance coverage. Many religious hospitals, charities, universities, and other enterprises owned or controlled by religious organizations or individuals who opposed contraception on doctrinal grounds, argued the mandate violated their religious beliefs. For a full list of these cases please see our collection of the Contraception Insurance Mandate cases here.

On August 23, 2012, Grace College and Seminary, and Biola University, Inc.—both religious non-profits—filed this lawsuit in the Northern District of Indiana. They raised their claims against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000bb), the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. § 706(2)), and the First and Fifth Amendments. Represented by private counsel and the Alliance Defending Freedom, the plaintiffs sought to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage in employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. The plaintiffs contended that this mandatory contraception coverage violated their sincerely held religious beliefs.

On September 6, 2013, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint incorporating the government's newly announced accommodations for non-profit, religious organizations. The plaintiffs argued that even with an accommodation, the mandate violated its religious freedoms. The plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction along with the amended complaint.

On September 27, 2013, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, or, in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment. On October 11, 2013, the plaintiff filed a separate motion for summary judgment.

On December 27, 2013, the District Court (Judge Jon E. DeGuilio) granted the plaintiff's preliminary injunction on the grounds that the plaintiff would suffer irreparable harm without it and their claims had merit under RFRA.

On February 24, 2014, the defendant appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (No. 14-1430). This case was consolidated on appeal with Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend v. Sebelius. On September 4, 2015, the Seventh Circuit (Judge Ilana Diamond Rovener) reversed the District Court's preliminary injunction and remanded the case, noting that since the suit was filed, the contraception mandate accommodation had been expanded to allow qualifying religious employers to notify HHS directly about their objections. On November 5, 2015, the Seventh Circuit denied the plaintiffs' petition for a rehearing en banc. On November 12, 2015, the Seventh Circuit granted the plaintiffs' motion to stay the suit pending petition for writ of certiorari.

On February 3, 2016, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court, which granted the Petition for Writ of Certiorari on May 16, 2016. The Supreme Court vacated the judgement and remanded the case, citing Zubik, which held that it was appropriate to vacate and remand so that the courts of appeals could address the arguments in response to the order for supplemental briefs. The supplement briefing request asked parties to address how contraceptive coverage could be obtained by employees through insurance companies that did not require any involvement by plaintiffs beyond their decision to provide health insurance without contraceptive coverage. The Supreme Court's order also resulted in dismissal of the defendants' consolidated interlocutory appeals.

On remand, the Northern District of Indiana granted the plaintiffs' motion for a permanent injunction and declaratory relief on June 1, 2018. The injunction required that defendants be barred from any effort to enforce any requirements of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate that violated the plaintiffs' religious consciences. The declaratory relief stated that the requirements of the contraceptive mandate violated the plaintiffs' rights protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This order was issued in part due to defendant’s concession that they were no longer raising a substantive defense. The parties reached a settlement for attorneys' fees on September 18, 2018.

The case is closed.

Wyatt Fore - 03/26/2013
Mallory Jones - 03/24/2014
Kate Craddock - 02/21/2016
Cedar Hobbs - 10/26/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Abortion
Contraception
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
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 Grace College and Seminary, and Biola University, Inc. are two Christian institutions of higher education.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2012
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FA-IN-0002 : Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend v. Burwell (N.D. Ind.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
12-cv-459 (N.D. Ind.)
FA-IN-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/03/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
FA-IN-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/23/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amici Curiae Brief of the American Center for Law and Justice and Regent University in Support of Plaintiffs [ECF# 36]
FA-IN-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/02/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 54]
FA-IN-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/06/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 55]
FA-IN-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/06/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 56]
FA-IN-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/06/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction , and in Support of Their Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment [ECF# 59]
FA-IN-0003-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/27/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss , or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment [ECF# 60]
FA-IN-0003-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/27/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction , and in Support of Their Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment [ECF# 61]
FA-IN-0003-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/27/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Amicus Curiae Liberty, Life, and Law Foundation in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 66]
FA-IN-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/07/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 69]
FA-IN-0003-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/11/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs’ Memorandum of Law in Support of Their Motions for Preliminary Injunction and Summary Motion and in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 70]
FA-IN-0003-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/11/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 90] (988 F.Supp.2d 935) (N.D. Ind.)
FA-IN-0003-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/27/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order for Final Judgment (801 F.3d 788)
FA-IN-0003-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/04/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 91] (801 F.3d 788)
FA-IN-0003-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/04/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 6705956]
FA-IN-0003-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/05/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 6707488]
FA-IN-0003-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/12/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 4] (136 S.Ct. 2011)
FA-IN-0003-0019.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/16/2016
Source: Google Scholar
Order of Permanent Injunction and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 114] (N.D. Ind.)
FA-IN-0003-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/01/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges DeGuilio, Jon Ernest (N.D. Ind.) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0012 | FA-IN-0003-0017 | FA-IN-0003-9000
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0019
Hamilton, David Frank (S.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0013 | FA-IN-0003-0014 | FA-IN-0003-0015
Manion, Daniel Anthony (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0013 | FA-IN-0003-0014 | FA-IN-0003-0015
Rovner, Ilana Kara Diamond (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0013 | FA-IN-0003-0014 | FA-IN-0003-0015 | FA-IN-0003-0016
Sotomayor, Sonia (S.D.N.Y., Second Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0019
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baylor, Gregory S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0001 | FA-IN-0003-0003 | FA-IN-0003-0004 | FA-IN-0003-0005 | FA-IN-0003-0010 | FA-IN-0003-0011 | FA-IN-0003-9000
Bowman, Matthew S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0001 | FA-IN-0003-0003 | FA-IN-0003-0004 | FA-IN-0003-0005 | FA-IN-0003-0010 | FA-IN-0003-0011 | FA-IN-0003-9000
Cortman, David A. (Georgia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0001 | FA-IN-0003-0003 | FA-IN-0003-0004 | FA-IN-0003-0005 | FA-IN-0003-0010 | FA-IN-0003-0011 | FA-IN-0003-9000
Mackey, Jerry (California) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0001 | FA-IN-0003-0003 | FA-IN-0003-0004 | FA-IN-0003-0005 | FA-IN-0003-0010 | FA-IN-0003-0011 | FA-IN-0003-9000
Theriot, Kevin H. (Kansas) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0001 | FA-IN-0003-0003 | FA-IN-0003-0004 | FA-IN-0003-0005 | FA-IN-0003-0010 | FA-IN-0003-0011
Wilson, Jane Dall (Indiana) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0001 | FA-IN-0003-0003 | FA-IN-0003-0004 | FA-IN-0003-0005 | FA-IN-0003-0010 | FA-IN-0003-0011 | FA-IN-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berwick, Benjamin Leon (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-9000
Capp, David A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0006 | FA-IN-0003-0007 | FA-IN-0003-0008
Delery, Stuart F. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0006 | FA-IN-0003-0007 | FA-IN-0003-0008
Lieber, Sheila M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0006 | FA-IN-0003-0007 | FA-IN-0003-0008
Newton, Emily Sue (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-9000
Pollack, Michael Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0006 | FA-IN-0003-0007 | FA-IN-0003-0008 | FA-IN-0003-9000
Ricketts, Jennifer (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0006 | FA-IN-0003-0007 | FA-IN-0003-0008
Other Lawyers Amiri, Brigitte A. (New York) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-9000
Heil, CeCe (Virginia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0002
Isakoff, Louis A. (Virginia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0002
Lee, Jennifer (New York) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-9000
Mach, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-9000
Manion, Francis J (Kentucky) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0002
Roth, Stuart J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0002
Sekulow, Jordan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0002
Sekulow, Jay Alan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0002
Surtees, Geoffrey R. (Kentucky) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0002
White, Edward L. III (Michigan) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0002 | FA-IN-0003-9000
Wilkins, Michael A. (Indiana) show/hide docs
FA-IN-0003-0009 | FA-IN-0003-9000

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