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Judge rejects Notre Dame bid for injunction on contraception coverage

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A federal judge denied the University of Notre Dame’s request for an injunction blocking the “contraception mandate” in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control.

“While the interests for and against injunction are very closely balanced, I find that the low likelihood of Notre Dame’s success on the merits tips the sliding scale towards denial of the preliminary injunction,” wrote Chief Judge Philip P. Simon of the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in South Bend.

Simon ruled Friday in University of Notre Dame v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., 3:13-CV-1276.

Notre Dame refiled its federal suit earlier this month seeking to block enforcement of the mandate that it claimed violated its religious liberties under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Simon wasn’t persuaded. Notre Dame, he wrote, already may opt out of the mandate.

“If Notre Dame takes that tack, someone else provides the coverage, and not on Notre Dame’s dime. Notre Dame nonetheless claims that by formally opting out, it would trigger, or authorize, a third party’s provision of contraception, and it objects to that.

“Notre Dame wants to eat its cake, and have it still, at the expense of Congress, administrative agencies, and the employees who will be affected. Notre Dame is free to opt out of providing the coverage itself, but it can’t stop anyone else from providing it. But that is essentially what Notre Dame is requesting,” Simon wrote.

“The government isn’t violating Notre Dame’s right to free exercise of religion by letting it opt out, or by arranging for third party contraception coverage. For these reasons … because I find that Notre Dame is not likely to succeed on the merits, a preliminary injunction is not warranted.”
 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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