January 3, 2014
As previously reported, on New Years Eve, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted Little Sisters of the Poor an emergency temporary injunction blocking enforcement against them of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage accommodation for religious non-profits. The federal government was ordered to file a response by 10:00 AM today. Here is the Solicitor General’s 37-page response filed today in Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Sebelius, (Docket No. 13A691). As explained by today’s Politico, Sotomayor must now decide whether to keep the temporary injunction in place, lift it, or refer the matter to all the Justices for them to decide to take one of those steps. The Justices could also grant full Supreme Court review in the case even though there has not yet been a Court of Appeals decision.
In another development, on New Years eve the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted a 14-day temporary restraining order (full text) in Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius. The order temporarily bars enforcement of the contraceptive coverage mandate against Ave Maria Foundation, Ave Maria Radio, Domino’s Farms Petting Farm, Rhodora J. Donahue Academy, and Thomas More Law Center. (TMLC Jan. 2 press release.) A hearing is scheduled Jan. 8 on whether to convert the TRO to a preliminary injunction.