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Case Name Hastings Automotive v. Sebelius FA-MN-0010
Docket / Court 0:14-cv-00265-PAM-JJG ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
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 January 29, 2014, several privately-owned automobile dealerships filed this lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the U.S District Court for the District of Minnesota against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The ACA's contraception mandate required employers to provide health insurance coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity. The plaintiffs sought preliminary and permanent injunctions, alleging that the mandate infringed on their rights to free exercise of religion and free speech, the establishment of religion prohibition and equal protection, all in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The plaintiffs, represented by the Liberty Institute, complained that no exemption or accommodation existed for for-profit organizations such as theirs, even if they objected to the Mandate based on sincerely-held religious beliefs.

On March 19, 2014, the District Court (Senior Judge Paul A. Magnuson) granted the plaintiffs' March 3, 2014, motion for stay until the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., No. 13-354 (later recaptioned as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby). Because the government agreed to not take action while waiting for the Supreme Court's ruling, the plaintiffs' request for preliminary injunction was denied as moot.

On May 28, 2014, the District Court granted the plaintiffs' renewed preliminary injunction and enjoined the defendants from enforcing the contraception mandate, again, while waiting for the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, which was handed down on June 30, 2014. In 5-4 opinion by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court held that the HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violated RFRA, when applied to closely-held for-profit corporations. The Court emphasized, however, that alternative methods for meeting the government's asserted interest were available. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014).

In this case, on December 10, 2014, the District Court entered a judgment--stipulated by both sides--that in light of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, the government was enjoined from enforcing the contraception mandate against the plaintiffs.

In March of 2015, the Court granted an extension of time for the plaintiffs to move for attorneys' fees. There are no further entries on the docket, so we do not know how the issue was resolved. The case is now closed.

Beth Richardson - 07/08/2015
Michael Beech - 03/09/2019


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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
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Abortion
Contraception
Plaintiff Type
Public (for-profit) corporation
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
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 Treasury
Plaintiff Description Minnesota auto dealerships
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
Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Filing Year 2014
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
0:14-cv-265 (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/12/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
FA-MN-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Order] [ECF# 27] (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0010-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/19/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 34] (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/28/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 38] (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0010-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/10/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Magnuson, Paul Arthur (D. Minn.) show/hide docs
FA-MN-0010-0002 | FA-MN-0010-0003 | FA-MN-0010-0004 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dys, Jeremiah G. (Texas) show/hide docs
FA-MN-0010-0001 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Kantke, Meghann F. (Minnesota) show/hide docs
FA-MN-0010-0001 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Kovacs, Pamela (Minnesota) show/hide docs
FA-MN-0010-0001
Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas) show/hide docs
FA-MN-0010-0001 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Nash, Kathryn M. (Minnesota) show/hide docs
FA-MN-0010-0001 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bildtsen, Ann M (Minnesota) show/hide docs
FA-MN-0010-9000
Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-MN-0010-9000

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