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Court Dismisses College Challenge to Birth Control Mandate

July 23, 2012

A U.S. district court last week dismissed a lawsuit from Belmont Abbey College, a Roman Catholic college in Charlotte, N.C., over the Obama administration's requirement that insurance cover birth control, saying the suit was premature. It was the second setback that legal challenges to the rule, which has infuriated Catholic and some evangelical colleges, faced in courts last week.

The Washington, D.C., district court said the suit, filed in November, was premature, because the Obama administration hadn't changed the rule to better reflect religious objections when it was filed. (A compromise, that insurers -- not institutions -- would pay for the coverage, was proposed in February.) The court didn't rule on the merits of the college's objections, which centered on religious freedom, and said the college could renew the suit at a later date.

On Tuesday, a district court in Nebraska dismissed a similar lawsuit from seven states and three Catholic employers, none of which were colleges, saying the states did not have standing to sue over the mandate.

 

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