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Notre Dame’s petition for HHS lawsuit rehearing denied

| Monday, May 12, 2014

A federal appeals court denied Notre Dame’s petition for a new hearing in its Affordable Care Act lawsuit, according to a Wednesday report in the South Bend Tribune.

Matthew Kairis, an attorney representing Notre Dame, filed the petition April 4 to request a rehearing in front of the whole U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit instead of just a panel of three judges. The Tribune reported that the three panel judges, Richard A. Posner, David F. Hamilton and Joel M. Flaum, voted against a new hearing in an order handed down Wednesday. There are 11 other judges listed for the 7th Circuit, but none of the other active judges requested a vote, according to the Tribune.

Paul Browne, Notre Dame’s vice president for public affairs and communications, said Monday that the University is continuing to weigh its options.

hhs_mandate_graphic_may14_UPDATE grayscale KERI O'MARA | The Observer
On Feb. 21, judges in the appellate court panel denied the University an exemption from a provision of the health care law that requires its health care plans to cover contraceptives. Notre Dame’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services argues that this provision violates its religious beliefs.

Religious nonprofit organizations can shift the cost for contraceptives to the government or to a third-party health care administrator by submitting an opt-out form. Notre Dame currently provides the coverage through Meritain Health.

In the petition, the Notre Dame lawyers argued that the panel’s February opinion denying the University an exemption contradicts Supreme Court precedent and legal standards. The Tribune reported that a number of other religious nonprofit organizations have filed similar lawsuits, and all but Notre Dame have received injunctions from enforcement until the litigation is resolved.

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About Ann Marie Jakubowski

Senior News Writer, formerly Editor-in-Chief. English and Spanish double major, minor in journalism, ethics and democracy. Grand Rapids, Mich., native. Notre Dame Class of 2015.

Contact Ann Marie