Status of Catholic Education Challenges to HHS Mandate

As of July 2015, at least 22 Catholic schools (including two on the Catholic Education Honor Roll, marked by an asterisk*) and 11 Catholic colleges (including eight Newman Guide colleges, marked by a double asterisk**) have filed suits challenging the Obama administration’s “HHS mandate,” requiring employer coverage of sterilization and contraceptives (including some that cause abortion) in employee health plans.

Aquinas College (Nashville, Tenn.)**
Filed in September 2012 with Diocese of Nashville, later consolidated with Michigan Catholic Conference. U.S. Supreme Court vacated adverse ruling by Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, remanded to appeals court in light of Hobby Lobby (S. Ct. April 27, 2015).

Archbishop Carroll High School (Washington, D.C.)
The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.)**
Consortium of Catholic Academies of Archdiocese of Washington (D.C.)

Filed in May 2012 with Archdiocese of Washington. The Consortium includes four Catholic schools: Sacred Heart, St. Anthony, St. Francis Xavier and St. Thomas More. U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied injunction but granted stay while case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court (D.C. Cir. June 10, 2015).

Ave Maria University (Ave Maria, Fla.)**
Filed in February 2012. Dismissed pending Obama administration changes to rules. Refiled in August 2013, U.S. district court granted injunction against enforcement of HHS mandate and stayed case pending resolution of EWTN case in 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (M.D. Fla. Oct. 28, 2014).

Ave Maria School of Law (Naples, Fla.)
Filed in November 2013. U.S. district court granted injunction against enforcement of HHS mandate and stayed case pending resolution of EWTN case in 11th Circuit Court of appeals (M.D. Fla. Oct. 28, 2014).

Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C.)**
Filed nation’s first suit against HHS mandate in November 2011. Court declined judgment while Obama administration issued several changes. Refiled in November 2013 but withdrew when College obtained Christian Brothers insurance, which is temporarily protected from HHS mandate pending resolution of Little Sisters of the Poor case (D.D.C. Nov. 3, 2014).

Cardinal Spellman High School (Bronx, N.Y.)
Monsignor Farrell High School (Staten Island, N.Y.)

Filed in May 2012 with Archdiocese of New York. U.S. district court granted permanent injunction (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2013).

Christ the King Catholic School (Atlanta, Ga.)
Filed in October 2012 with Archdiocese of Atlanta. Granted permanent injunction by U.S. District Court (N.D. Ga. Mar. 26, 2014).

Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School (Washington, D.C.)
Mary of Nazareth Roman Catholic Elementary School (Washington, D.C.)
Joined suit in September 2013 with Archdiocese of Washington. U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied injunction but granted stay while case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court (D.C. Cir. June 10, 2015).

Erie Catholic Preparatory School (Erie, Pa.)
Filed in May 2012 with Dioceses of Erie and Pittsburgh. U.S. Supreme Court granted stay after adverse ruling by Third Circuit Court of Appeals (S. Ct. April 27, 2015).

Father Ryan High School (Nashville, Tenn.)
Pope John Paul II High School (Nashville, Tenn.)

Filed in September 2012 with Diocese of Nashville. Case dismissed by U.S. district court because not ripe for ruling.

Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio)**
Filed in May 2012. Case dismissed because not ripe for ruling (S.D. Ohio Mar. 22, 2013).

John Paul II Catholic School at St. Matthews (Gillette, Wyo.)
St. Anthony Tri-Parish Catholic School (Casper, Wyo.)
Wyoming Catholic College (Lander, Wyo.)**
Filed in Jan. 2014 with Diocese of Cheyenne. Preliminary injunction denied by U.S. district court, temporary injunction granted pending appeal (10th Cir. June 30, 2014).

Pius X Catholic High School (Lincoln, Neb.)*
Filed in February 2012 with State of Nebraska. Dismissed by U.S. district court for lack of standing and ripeness (8th Cir. Aug. 21, 2013).

Resurrection Catholic School (Biloxi, Miss.)
Sacred Heart Catholic School (Biloxi, Miss.)
St. Joseph Catholic School (Jackson, Miss.)
Vicksburg Catholic School (Jackson, Miss.)

Filed in March 2014 with Dioceses of Biloxi and Jackson. No ruling yet from U.S. district court.

Rhodora J. Donahue Academy (Ave Maria, Fla.)*
Filed in December 2013 with Ave Maria Foundation. Preliminary injunction granted by U.S. district court (E.D. Mich. Jan. 13, 2014).

St. John the Evangelist Regional Catholic School (Uniontown, Pa.)
Filed in May 2014 with Catholic Diocese of Greensburg. Permanent injunction granted by U.S. district court (W.D. Pa. Aug. 20, 2014).

Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, Cal.)**
Filed in September 2013, later consolidated with Archdiocese of Washington. U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied injunction but granted stay while case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court (D.C. Cir. June 10, 2015).

University of Dallas (Tex.)**
Injunction denied by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (5th Cir. June 22, 2015).

University of Notre Dame (Ind.)
Filed in May 2012. U.S. Supreme Court vacated adverse ruling by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, remanded to appeals court in light of Hobby Lobby (S. Ct. Mar. 9, 2015).

University of Saint Francis (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Filed in May 2012 with Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Injunction granted by U.S. district court (N.D. Ind. Dec. 27, 2013).

Copyright © 2018 The Cardinal Newman Society. Permission to reprint without modification to text, with attribution to author and to The Cardinal Newman Society, and (if published online) hyperlinked to the article on the Newman Society’s website. The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Cardinal Newman Society.