Commentary
HHS Mandates: A Scorecard
Bible on Pulpit Overlooking Church

Religious organizations, for-profit businesses, and individuals have filed over 60 cases attempting to protect their religious convictions.

Alliance Defending Freedom represents a wide variety of citizens, families, schools, and organizations in their challenges to the Abortion Pill Mandate. In the midst of this, it might be helpful to provide a brief snapshot of where these and other cases stand.

Overall Summary

Of the 61 rulings regarding religious freedom claims against Obamacare’s Abortion Pill Mandate, 41 involve family-run or religious businesses (35 of these have been won in favor of religious liberty), and 20 involve non-profit religious organizations (19 of these have been won in favor of religious liberty). Overall, the score is 54–7.

Eighty-eight percent of court decisions had been ruled in favor of religious liberty and against the Abortion Pill Mandate at the close of 2013. Two cases, Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, will be heard by the Supreme Court in March. 

For-Profit Tally: 35-6

For-profit organizations’ main goal is to generate income, or make a profit—one example is Conestoga Wood Specialties, the company soon facing the Supreme Court, mentioned above.

Forty-one lawsuits have been filed by for-profit businesses and their owners.  Their religious convictions deter them from paying (either directly or indirectly) for the use of contraceptives and/or abortifacients through the new health insurance plans.  

The good news is that most courts have afforded relief in the form of a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, both of which ultimately allow more time for the court to decide on the case. 

Injunctions Granted: 7 cases

Preliminary injunctions:

  • Newland (Hercules Industries) v. Sebelius (District of CO),
  • Weingartz Supply Co. v. Sebelius (Eastern District of MI),
  • Tyndale Publishers v. Sebelius (District of Columbia),
  • American Pulverizer Co. v. HHS (Western District of MO),
  • Domino’s Farms Corp. v. Sebelius (Eastern District of MI),
  • and Triune Health Group v. HHS (Northern District of IL).

Temporary restraining order: Sharpe Holdings, Inc.  v. HHS (Eastern District of MO).

Injunctions Pending Appeal Granted: 2 cases

  • Preliminary injunctions: Korte v. Sebelius (7th Circuit),
  • O’Brien v. HHS (8th Circuit)

Injunctions Denied: 5 cases

  • Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius (Western District of OK, 10th Circuit, Supreme Court),
  • Autocam Corp. v. Sebelius (Western District of MI, 6th Circuit),
  • Grote Indus. LLC v. Sebelius (Southern District of Indiana),
  • Annex Medical v. Sebelius (District of MN),
  • Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius (Eastern District of PA)

Motion to Dismiss Pending: 1 case

  • Seneca Hardwood v. Sebelius (Western District of PA)

Non-Profit Tally: 19-1

Non-profit organizations are established for purposes other than making a profit—one major purpose of ministries and charities, for example, is to give aid to those in need.

Many cases have been filed by non-profit religious organizations, such as Christian-centered colleges, faith-based social service agencies, Roman Catholic dioceses, and pro-life organizations. 

Complaints Filed, No Motion Yet Pending: 2 cases

  • College of the Ozarks v. Sebelius (Western District of MO),
  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta v. Sebelius (Northern District of GA)

Motion to Dismiss Denied: 1 case

  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York v. Sebelius (Eastern District of NY)

Dismissed: 7 cases

  • Colorado Christian University v. Sebelius (District of CO),
  • Nebraska v. HHS (District of NE),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Biloxi v. Sebelius (Southern District of MS),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria v. Sebelius (Central District of IL),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville v. Sebelius (Middle District of TN),
  • University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius (Northern District of IN),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh v. Sebelius (Western District of PA)

Stayed: 4 cases

  • East Texas Baptist University & Houston Baptist University v. Sebelius (Southern District of TX),
  • Louisiana College v. Sebelius (Western District of LA),
  • Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius (D.C. Circuit),
  • Wheaton College v. Sebelius (D.C. Circuit)

Motion to Dismiss Pending: 15 cases

  • Ave Maria University v. Sebelius (Western District of FL),
  • Eternal Word Television Network v. Sebelius (Northern District of AL),
  • Criswell College v. Sebelius (Northern District of TX),
  • Franciscan University of Steubenville v. Sebelius (Southern District of OH),
  • Geneva College v. Sebelius (Western District of PA),
  • Grace Schools and Biola University v. Sebelius (Northern District of IN),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie v. Sebelius (Western District of PA),
  • Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius (District of Columbia),
  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis v. Sebelius (Eastern District of MO),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas v. Sebelius (Northern District of TX),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth v. Sebelius (Northern District of TX),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend v. Sebelius (Northern District of IN),
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet v. Sebelius (Northern District of IL),
  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami v. Sebelius (Southern District of FL)

Preliminary injunction granted:

  • Priests for Life v. Sebelius (Eastern District of NY)

Case Scorecard

For-profit: Wins

Grote Indus. LLC v. Sebelius, No. 13-1077, 2013 WL 5960692 (7th Cir. Nov. 8, 2013); Korte v. Sebelius, No. 12-3841, 2013 WL 5960692 (7th Cir. Nov. 8, 2013); Gilardi v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 13-5069, 2013 WL 5854246 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 1, 2013); Newland v. Sebelius, 881 F. Supp. 2d 1287 (D. Colo. July 27, 2012), affirmed on appeal, No. 12-1380 (10th Cir. Oct. 3, 2013); Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 12-6294 (10th Cir. June 27, 2013), injunction granted on remand, No. 5:12-cv-01000-HE (W.D. Okla. July 19, 2013); Annex Med., Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 13-1118, 2013 WL 1276025 (8th Cir. Feb. 1, 2013) (injunction pending appeal); O’Brien v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., No. 12‐3357 (8th Cir. Nov. 28, 2012) (injunction pending appeal); Legatus v. Sebelius, 901 F. Supp. 2d 980 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 31, 2012) (preliminary injunction for Weingartz plaintiffs); Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. v. Sebelius, 904 F. Supp. 2d 106 (D.D.C. Nov. 16, 2012); Am. Pulverizer Co. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 6:12-cv-03459, 2012 WL 6951316 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 20, 2012); Sharpe Holdings, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 2:12–CV–92–DDN, 2012 WL 6738489 (E.D. Mo. Dec. 31, 2012); Triune Health Group, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 1:12-cv-06756 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 3, 2013); Sioux Chief Mfg. Co. v. Sebelius, No. 13-0036-CV-W-ODS (W.D. Mo. Feb. 28, 2013); Monaghan v. Sebelius, No. 2:12-cv-15488-LPZ-MJH (E.D. Mich. Mar. 14, 2013); Lindsay v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 13-cv-1210 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 20, 2013); Bick Holdings, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 4:13-cv-00462-AGF (E.D. Mo. Apr. 1, 2013); Tonn & Blank Constr. v. Sebelius, No. 1:12-cv-00325-JD-RBC (N.D. Ind. Apr. 1, 2013); Hall v. Sebelius, No. 0:13-cv-00295-JRT-LIB (D. Minn. Apr. 2, 2013); Hartenbower v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 1:13-cv-02253 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 18, 2013); Seneca Hardwood v. Sebelius, No. 2:12-cv-00207-JFC, 2013 WL 1703871 (W.D. Pa. Apr. 19, 2013);  Johnson Welded Prods., Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-00609-ESH (D.D.C. May 24, 2013); Beckwith Elec. Co., Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 8:13-cv-00648-EAK-MAP (M.D. Fla. June 25, 2013); Sharpe Holdings, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 2:12–CV–92–DDN (E.D. Mo. June 28, 2013) (injunction for Ozark Nat’l Life Ins. Co. & CNS Corp.); SMA, LLC v. Sebelius, No. 0:13-cv-01375-ADM-LIB (D. Minn. July 8, 2013); Ozinga v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 1:13-cv-03292-TMD (N.D. Ill. July 16, 2013); Trijicon, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-01207-EGS (D.D.C. Aug. 14, 2013); Willis Law v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-01124-CKK (D.D.C. Aug. 23, 2013); Briscoe v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-00285-WYD-BNB (D. Colo. Sept. 6, 2013); The QC Grp., Inc., v. Sebelius, No. 0:13-cv-01726-JRT-SER (D. Minn. Sept. 11, 2013); Armstrong v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-00563-RBJ (D. Colo. Sept. 17, 2013); Barron Indus., Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-01330-KBJ (D.D.C. Sept. 25, 2013); Midwest Fastener Corp. v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-01337-ESH (D.D.C. Oct. 16, 2013); Feltl & Co., Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 13-CV-2635 DWF/JJK (D. Minn. Nov. 8, 2013); Doboszenski & Sons, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 0:13-cv-03148-JNE-FLN (D. Minn. Nov. 11, 2013); Randy Reed Auto. Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 5:13-cv-6117-SJ-ODS (W.D. Mo. Dec. 3, 2013) 

Non-profit: Wins

Geneva College v. Sebelius, No. 2:12-cv-00207-JFC, 2013 WL 3071481 (W.D. Pa. June 18, 2013) (injunction for non-profit religious college’s student health plan); Most Reverend David A. Zubik v. Sebelius, No. 2:13-cv-01459-AJS (W.D. Pa. Nov. 21, 2013) (injunction for non-profit Catholic organizations in Diocese of Pittsburgh); Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-00303-AJS (W.D. Pa. Nov. 21, 2013) (injunction for non-profit Catholic organizations in Diocese of Erie); The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York v. Sebelius, No. 1:12-cv-02542-BMC (E.D. N.Y. Dec. 16, 2013) (injunction for non-exempt non-profit Catholic organizations); Legatus v. Sebelius, No. 2:12-cv-12061-RHC-MJH (E.D. Mich. Dec. 20, 2013) (preliminary injunction for non-profit organization Legatus); Reaching Souls Int’l Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 5:13-cv-01092-D (W.D. Okla. Dec. 20, 2013) (preliminary injunction for nearly 200 non-profit religious entities); Geneva College v. Sebelius, No. 2:12-cv-00207-JFC, 2013 WL 3071481 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 23, 2013) (injunction for non-profit religious college’s employee health plan); Southern Nazarene University v. Sebelius, No. 5:13-cv-01015-F (W.D. Okla. Dec. 23, 2013) (injunction for non-profit religious universities); East Texas Baptist Univ. v. Sebelius, No. 4:12-cv-3009 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 27, 2013) (summary judgment for non-profit religious university); Grace Schools v. Sebelius, 3:12-cv-00459-JD-CAN (N.D. Ind. Dec. 27, 2013) (injunction for non-profit religious universities); Sharpe Holdings, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 2:12–CV–92–DDN (E.D. Mo. Dec. 30, 2013) (injunction for non-profit religious organizations CNS International Ministries and Heartland Christian College); Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius, No. 2:13-cv-15198-SJM-MAR (E.D. Mich. Dec. 30, 2013) (temporary restraining order for non-profit religious groups); Priests for Life v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 13-5368 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 31, 2013) (injunction pending appeal for non-profit religious group); Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius, No. 13-5371 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 31, 2013) (injunction pending appeal for non-profit religious groups); Catholic Diocese of Nashville v. Sebelius, No. 13-6640 (6th Cir. Dec. 31, 2013) (injunction pending appeal for non-profit religious groups); Michigan Catholic Conference v. Sebelius, No. 13-2723 (6th Cir. Dec. 31, 2013) (injunction pending appeal for non-profit religious groups); Catholic Diocese of Beaumont v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-709-RC (E.D. Tex. Dec. 31, 2013) (injunction for religious non-profit groups); Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth v. Sebelius, No. 4:12-cv-00314-Y (N.D. Tex. Dec. 31, 2013) (injunction for non-profit religious university); Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Sebelius, No. 13A691 (S. Ct. Dec. 31, 2013) (Sotomayor, J.) (temporary injunction for hundreds of non-profit religious groups).

Losses

Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, 724 F.3d 377 (3d Cir. July 26, 2013); Autocam Corp. v. Sebelius, 730 F.3d 618 (6th Cir. Sept. 17, 2013); Eden Foods, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 2:13-cv-11229-DPH-MAR, 2013 WL 1190001 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 22, 2013), on appeal, No. 13-1677 (6th Cir. June 28, 2013); MK Chambers Co. v. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., No. 13-cv-11379, 2013 WL 1340719 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 3, 2013); Mersino Mgmt. Co. v. Sebelius, No. 2:13-cv-11296-PDB-RSW (E.D. Mich. July 11, 2013); Infrastructure Alternatives, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 1:13-cv-00031-RJJ (W.D. Mich. Sept. 30, 2013) (complaint dismissed on merits); and University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius, No. 3:13-cv-1276-PPS-CAN (N.D. Ind. Dec. 20, 2013); No. 13-1540 (7th Cir. Dec. 30, 2013) (non-profit religious university).

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