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Supreme Court of the United States

Grote Industries v. Burwell

Last Updated: 5/29/2020


What's at stake

  • The freedom to operate a family business according to your deeply held beliefs without the fear of being punished by the government
  • Christian businesses being forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs in violation of their religious, pro-life beliefs


Grote Industries is a family-run auto lighting company based in Indiana. Founded in 1901 by William Grote, the Grote Family continues to operate its business according to the Catholic values of its founder. But when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate requiring businesses to offer insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception, the Grote Family was placed into an unavoidable dilemma. They must either violate their religious beliefs by providing the objectionable items, or they must pay heavy fines and penalties that could bring their family’s business to its knees. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, the Grote Family filed a lawsuit challenging the abortion pill mandate.

Although the District Court initially ruled against the Grote Family, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed the decision. The court found that "compelling [the Grote Family] to cover these services substantially burdens their religious exercise rights."

Alliance Defending Freedom is still fighting for the Grote Family and several other businesses who object to being forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up one of our client's cases—Conestoga Woods Specialties Corp.—and Alliance Defending Freedom will be there to advocate on behalf of every Christian business owner who simply wants the freedom to operate their business according to their faith.

Our role in this case

The Grote Family is represented by two of Alliance Defending Freedom's outstanding allied attorneys, Mike Wilkins and Michael Cork, along with Alliance Defending Freedom, who serves as co-counsel on the case. Together, we are defending their freedom to operate their business according to their deeply held religious beliefs.


Legal Documents

{"docs": [{"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Preliminary injunction order", "FileName": "", "Date": "1/30/13 10:52:51 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Complaint", "FileName": "", "Date": "10/29/12 10:52:51 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "7th Circuit decision", "FileName": "", "Date": "11/8/13 10:52:51 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "7th Circuit opening brief of appellants", "FileName": "", "Date": "2/19/13 10:52:51 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Notice of appeal", "FileName": "", "Date": "1/9/13 10:52:51 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Brief in support of motion for preliminary injunction", "FileName": "", "Date": "10/30/12 10:52:51 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Motion for injunction pending appeal", "FileName": "", "Date": "1/11/13 10:52:51 PM"}]}

Additional Resources


Website: Grote Industries.

Video: ObamaCare mandate is worse than you think (approx. 2:00).

Bio: Michael Cork

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