From the Catholic News Herald of the Diocese of Charlotte:
Government must rewrite HHS mandate by March 31, court orders
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., has sided with Belmont Abbey College in its lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s mandate requiring most employers to provide free contraceptives in their employee insurance plans starting in 2013.
The three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued their ruling Dec. 18, only days after sparring with lawyers on both sides of the case during lengthy oral arguments Dec. 14.
The Dec. 18 ruling does not overturn the controversial contraception mandate, yet it uses strong language ordering the Obama administration to rewrite the mandate so that it would not harm religious organizations such as Belmont Abbey College. It also gave the administration a deadline of March 31, 2013, and said it will review the administration’s actions every 60 days until it complies.
The ruling also puts the case on hold, so that if the college objects to the government’s rewritten mandate it will not have to refile the case.
Read the appeals court’s ruling.
Dr. William Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College, called the favorable ruling “a major victory” and “the answers to our prayers.”
“Christmas came early this year!” Thierfelder said in a written statement issued late Tuesday.
Read the rest there.