On Friday the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury appealed Thomas Aquinas College’s recent victory over the HHS Contraceptive Mandate in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The three federal agencies are seeking to overturn Judge Amy Jackson’s December 20, 2013, ruling, which held that the HHS Mandate violated the College’s religious liberties under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. As part of that ruling, Judge Jackson had issued a permanent injunction protecting the College from the federal policy requiring all employers to provide contraceptive, abortifacient, and sterilization coverage to their employees.
Although Judge Jackson’s injunction is now in jeopardy, it remains in effect pending the outcome of the appeal. For the time being, the College may continue providing comprehensive health insurance in accordance with Catholic teaching.
“We are disappointed that the government has appealed Judge Jackson’s ruling, again placing the College’s religious freedom in doubt,” says President Michael F. McLean. “We ask that all of the College’s friends and supporters continue to pray that we will be successful in securing our religious liberties.”