The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reversed an earlier decision by a district court and granted temporary relief from the HHS contraceptive mandate to Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., according to court documents.
The HHS mandate, which went into effect on January 1st, may not now be enforced against the College or its owners, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia (the “Nashville Dominicans”), while the lawsuit and others work through the legal process.
"We still know that there is a long road ahead, but we are delighted about this outcome," said Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, president of Aquinas College, according to Catholic News Service.
Just over a week ago, a Tennessee federal district judge rejected pleas from Aquinas for a preliminary injunction from the HHS contraceptive mandate, according to court documents. That judge declared that the plaintiffs had failed to show a likelihood of success for their claim, calling it “too attenuated and speculative to be substantial."
Despite that, the appeals court gave as a reason for granting the stay the various successful rulings from other courts on this issue, stating, “The divergence of opinion by the district courts establishes more than a mere possibility of success on the merits.”
The co-plaintiffs in this case include Catholic Charities of Tennessee; Camp Marymount; Mary, Queen of Angels; and St. Mary Villa.
Aquinas College is recommended as a faithful Catholic college in The Newman Guide.
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