Are you clear about what happened between Pres. Obama and the HHS mandate v. our first liberties?

The excellent Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has a great timeline on their site about the HHS mandate, along with a detailed list of plaintiffs against the Obama Administration.

HHS Mandate Timeline:

  • August, 2011, Federal government issues a regulation requiring that all group health plans must cover “[FDA-]approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.” The mandate, a provision of the “Affordable Care Act,” would take effect August 1, 2012.
  • November 10, 2011Press Release,  Belmont Abbey College Sues Federal Government (Becket Fund)
  • December 21, 2011Press ReleaseColorado Christian University First Evangelical University to Fight Abortifacient Mandate (Becket Fund)
  • January 20, 2012Press Release,  Obama Administration Refuses to Change Abortion-Drug Mandate
  • January 31, 2012, Press Release Senator Rubio introduces conscience rights bill
  • February 6, 2012, Press Release, White House Makes False Claims about HHS Mandate
  • February 9, 2012Press ReleaseBecket Funds Files Lawsuit for Nun’s TV Network
  • February 10, 2012Press Release Obama Administration Offers False “Compromise” on Abortion-Drug Mandate
  • February 15, 2012, HHS MandateAfter “Compromise,” HHS Mandate Remains unchanged
  • February 15, 2012,  Press ReleaseUNACCEPTABLE: Diverse group of more than 300 academics and religious leaders call Obama’s HHS statement “Unacceptable”
  • February 15, 2012Press ReleasePriest for Life Join Fight
  • February 17, 2012Press ReleaseObama Administration Responds to Becket Fund Lawsuit: “Please Look the Other Way”
  • February 18, 2012, Congressional Hearing, First Congressional Hearing on HHS Mandate, President Theirfelder Testifies (Belmont Abbey College)
  • February 18, 2012, Press ReleaseLouisiana College joins fight (ADF)
  • February 21, 2012Press Release,  Becket Fund Files on Behalf of Ave Maria University
  • February 21, 2012Press Release,  Geneva College joins fight (ADF)
  • February 23, 2012, Press Release7 states sue over mandate (Nebraska v. HHS)
  • February 28, 2012Press ReleaseObama Administration Takes Another Pass on Defending HHS Mandate
  • February 28, 2012, Congressional HearingBecket Fund Testifies before full House Judiciary Committee regarding constitutionality of the HHS Mandate
  • February 28, 2012, Press ReleaseAdministration seeks to dismiss Becket Fund’s CCU lawsuit
  • March 15, 2012, Press ReleaseFirst for-profit client files, O’Brien v. HHS (ACLJ)
  • March 16, 2012Press ReleaseAdministration Offers new details on “accommodation” and fails to satisfy religious groups (Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)
  • March 22, 2012Press ReleaseAlabama Joins Becket Fund’s Fight Against Unconstitutional HHS Mandate
  • March 23, 2012, Media AdvisoryBecket Fund co-host Religious Freedom Rallies nation-wide
  • April 23, 2012, Press ReleaseBecket Fund Fires Back at Administration’s Attempt to Dismiss Lawsuit (BAC)
  • April 26, 2012VideoSebelius admits before congress that she did not consult Supreme court decision on religious liberty when drafting the HHS mandate
  • April 30, 2012, Press Release, Second Private Business Owner Sues, Newland v. Sebelius (ADF)
  • May 7, 2012, Press Release, Legatus v. Sebelius  (Thomas More Law Center)
  • May 21, 2012, 11 Additional Lawsuits, representing 43 plaintiffs filed (Jones Day)

Additional Resources:

Becket Fund’s HHS Mandate Challenge


HHS Mandate  (February 15, 2012)

  •  ”Accordingly, the amendment to the interim final rule with comment period amending 29 CFR 2590.715-2713(a)(1)(iv) which was published in the Federal Register at 76 FR 46621-46626 on August 3, 2011, is adopted as a final rule without change.” (Page 8730)

HHS Proposed Rulemaking (March 16, 2012)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. AnnAsher says:

    I’m following. I’m clear. I’m even hearing about Catholic law suits against the administration on the radio in my wee little Ozarks town! I feel we’re on the precipice!

  2. SKAY says:

    Febuary 18, 2012 Louisiana College
    A small Baptist College in Pineville, Louisiana
    I am glad they are also willing to take a stand for our first ammendment rights also.

  3. Facta Non Verba says:

    Interesting log of how this all played out. One can see why Cardinal Dolan is apparently wary to trust anything this adminstration promises.

  4. Dismas says:

    I think so, do I have this right? By mandating legislation through the Dept. of Health and Human Services by edict of an unelected non-member of Congress and bypassing the Legislative Branch he has violated our countries system of checks and balances given to us in the three branches of gov’t and built into our Constitution by our founding fathers?

    Checks and balances:

    To prevent one branch from becoming supreme, protect the “opulent minority” from the majority, and to induce the branches to cooperate, government systems that employ a separation of powers need a way to balance each of the branches. Typically this was accomplished through a system of “checks and balances”, the origin of which, like separation of powers itself, is specifically credited to Montesquieu. Checks and balances allow for a system based regulation that allows one branch to limit another, such as the power of Congress to alter the composition and jurisdiction of the federal courts.

    Legislative (Congress)
    Passes bills; has broad taxing and spending power; controls the federal budget; has power to borrow money on the credit of the United States (may be vetoed by President, but vetoes may be overridden with a two-thirds vote of both houses)
    Has sole power to declare war.
    Oversees, investigates, and makes the rules for the government and its officers.
    Defines by law the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary in cases not specified by the Constitution
    Ratification of treaties signed by the President and gives advice and consent to presidential appointments to the federal judiciary, federal executive departments, and other posts (Senate only)
    Has sole power of impeachment (House of Representatives) and trial of impeachments (Senate); can remove federal executive and judicial officers from office for high crimes and misdemeanors

    Executive (President)
    Is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces
    Executes the instructions of Congress.
    May veto bills passed by Congress (but the veto may be overridden by a two-thirds majority of both houses)
    Executes the spending authorized by Congress.
    Declares states of emergency and publishes regulations and executive orders.
    Makes executive agreements (does not require ratification) and signs treaties (ratification requiring by two-thirds of the Senate)
    Makes appointments to the federal judiciary, federal executive departments, and other posts with the advice and consent of the Senate. Has power to make temporary appointment during the recess of the Senate
    Has the power to grant “reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

    Judicial (Supreme Court)
    Determines which laws Congress intended to apply to any given case
    Exercises judicial review, reviewing the constitutionality of laws
    Determines how Congress meant the law to apply to disputes
    Determines how a law acts to determine the disposition of prisoners
    Determines how a law acts to compel testimony and the production of evidence
    Determines how laws should be interpreted to assure uniform policies in a top-down fashion via the appeals process, but gives discretion in individual cases to low-level judges. The amount of discretion depends upon the standard of review, determined by the type of case in question.
    Federal judges serve for life

    Sebelius (Dept. of Health and Human Services) – the fourth branch??????????????????

  5. ContraMundum says:

    The one thing I’m unclear on is when this is to take effect.

  6. OrthodoxChick says:


    I believe it takes effect as of August 1, 2012.

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