A federal court has dismissed the lawsuit the Catholic college filed against the mandate, which compels companies to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions for their employees. Catholic Ave Maria University says it will keep fighting the HHS mandate found in Obamacare.
The court said the lawsuit was filed prematurely because the Obama administration has not finalized the rule and because it won’t begin to penalize violators like Ave Maria University until January 2014.
Jim Towey, president of the college, released the following statement regarding the March 29, 2013 order of the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, granting the Obama administration’s request to dismiss the lawsuit:
The Federal Court’s dismissal on Good Friday of Ave Maria University’s lawsuit was made on technical legal grounds – so-called “ripeness”– because the federal regulations in question are not in final form. It does not mean our lawsuit is dead.
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The Obama administration has bought itself time by promising to change its regulations and the Court’s dismissal order explicitly relies on this promise. If the final regulations that come out this summer do not keep this promise, Ave Maria University will be back in Federal Court with this lawsuit. The clock is ticking. In 274 days, on January 1, 2014, the so – called “safe harbor” protection the University now enjoys will no longer exist, and the Obama administration’s contraception mandate will be in full force.
The Court has ruled that our lawsuit is not “ripe,” and for now we accept this ruling. It is my hope the Obama administration will soon get rid of its rotten regulations and respect our right of conscience and religious identity.