Catholic schools and other organizations participating in the health plan for the Michigan Catholic Conference have been awarded temporary relief from the HHS contraceptive mandate from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the Detroit News.
The Michigan Catholic Conference provides health insurance to employees in seven dioceses and more than 825 Catholic organizations, including schools, charities and homes for the elderly.
A panel of judges on the appeal court voted 2-1 on December 31 to grant a preliminary injunction. Chief Judge Alice Batchelder, a Reagan appointee, and Senior Judge Eugene Siler, a George H.W. Bush appointee, voted in favor of granting the injunction, while Judge Jane Stranch, an Obama appointee, dissented.
Judge Gordon Quist, a George H.W. Bush appointee, had denied an injunction just days earlier.
“This is a burdensome mandate that forces Catholic employers to violate their constitutional right to religious liberty,” said Dave Maluchnik, spokesman for the Michigan Catholic Conference. “We're pleased the appellate court has acted in our favor.”
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