Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Update on Notre Dame and the HHS Mandate


Two days ago I reported here that the Seventh Circuit denied Notre Dame’s motion for a stay of enforcement, pending appeal of the District judge’s decision to force the university to comply with the “contraception” mandate starting with the new health plan year. That year started yesterday. Today the university advised employees — myself included — that its third party administrator (Meritain Health) would be in touch about the “free” services –  which include abortifacient drugs and devices.

Two days ago I wrote, too, that the university could refuse to “certify” its conscientious objection to the TPA, thus holding back on the trigger necessary for Meritain to initiate coverage. The reasons for doing so would be, as Notre Dame asserted in its formal complaint in the local federal court, that so “triggering” the coverage would be tantamount to facilitating abortions in violation of the University’s Catholic beliefs. Today’s announcement implies that the University has indeed pulled that trigger. The announcement further stated that the coverage “may be terminated once the University’s lawsuit on religious liberty grounds . . . has worked its way through the courts.”



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