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Case

Geneva College v. Azar

Last Updated: 5/29/2020

Overview

What's at stake

  • The freedom of religious institutions to operate according to their faith
  • The freedom from the threat of crippling fines for resisting illegal government mandates
  • The freedom for religious educational institutions to provide health insurance for their employees and students according to their beliefs

Summary

Geneva College is a Christ-centered, liberal arts college located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The government sought to force the college to compromise its deeply held religious beliefs on the sanctity of human life when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate that required Geneva College to include all FDA-approved contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs and devices, in its employee and student health plans, or face severe penalties.

ADF filed a lawsuit challenging the mandate on behalf of Geneva College. In November 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of the case and consolidated it with six other cases similarly challenging the mandate. 

In May 2016, the Supreme Court sent the cases back to the lower courts, directing the courts to allow the parties "to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates petitioners' religious exercise." The Court also forbade the government from imposing fines on the challengers for failing to comply with the mandate.

The case settled favorably in October 2018, after the lower court issued an injunction permanently protecting the college's religious freedom. 

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom represented Geneva College. We defended its freedom to operate according to its deeply held religious beliefs.

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Resources

Legal Documents

Court
Title
Date
{"docs": [{"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Brief in opposition to DOJ’s motion to dismiss", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-brief-in-opposition-to-doj-s-motion-to-dismiss.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Order on motion to dismiss", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-order-on-motion-to-dismiss.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Findings and conclusions", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-findings-and-conclusions.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Complaint", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-complaint.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "Opening brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-v-burwell---geneva---opening-brief-filed-with-u-s-supreme-court.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:26:02 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Preliminary injunction order for Geneva College's employee health plan", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-preliminary-injunction-order-for-geneva-college's-employee-health-plan.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "Supplemental brief submitted to U.S. Supreme Court", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-southern-nazarene-university---supplemental-brief-submitted-to-u-s-supreme-court.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:26:02 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Petitioners reply brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-v-burwell---geneva-petitioners-reply-brief-filed-with-u-s-supreme-court.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:26:02 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "Per Curiam Opinion", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-southern-nazarene-university---per-curiam-opinion.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:26:02 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Geneva - 3rd Circuit opinion", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-3rd-circuit-opinion.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:16:37 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Findings of fact and conclusions of law", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---findings-of-fact-and-conclusions-of-law.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Geneva - En Banc Petition", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-v-burwell---geneva-en-banc-petition.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:16:37 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Opinion and order granting motion for reconsideration", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-opinion-and-order-granting-motion-for-reconsideration.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - DOJ brief in support of motion to dismiss", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-doj-brief-in-support-of-motion-to-dismiss.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "U.S. Supreme Court order for supplemental briefing", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-southern-nazarene-university---u-s-supreme-court-order-for-supplemental-briefing.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:26:02 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Petition for writ of certiorari", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-v-burwell---geneva-petition-for-writ-of-certiorari.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:26:02 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Respondents brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-v-burwell---geneva-respondents-brief-filed-with-u-s-supreme-court.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:26:02 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Seneca - Permanent injunction order and judgment", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---seneca-permanent-injunction-order-and-judgment.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Preliminary injunction order for Geneva College's student health plan", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-preliminary-injunction-order-for-geneva-college's-student-health-plan.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Seneca - Motion to voluntarily dismiss appeal", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---seneca-motion-to-voluntarily-dismiss-appeal.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:16:37 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Opinion and order granting permanent injunction and declaratory relief", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-v-azar-permanent-injunction-2018-07-06.pdf", "Date": "7/6/2018 3:37:03 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Geneva - Order upholding injunctions", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---geneva-order-upholding-injunctions.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Seneca - Preliminary injunction order", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---seneca-preliminary-injunction-order.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:19:16 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Seneca - Dismissal order", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/geneva-college-v.-burwell/geneva-college-and-seneca-hardwood-v-burwell---seneca-dismissal-order.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 10:16:37 PM"}]}

Biographies

Gregory S. Baylor

Director of Center for Religious Schools, Senior Counsel for Government Affairs

Gregory S. Baylor serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is the director of the Center for Religious Schools and Senior Counsel for Government Affairs.

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