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East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

June 22, 2015

EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY; HOUSTON BAPTIST UNIVERSITY, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, in her official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services; THOMAS PEREZ, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Labor; JACOB J. LEW, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Treasury; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, Defendants-Appellants. UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS, Plaintiff-Appellee, WESTMINSTER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, Intervenor Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, in her official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services; THOMAS PEREZ, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Labor; JACOB J. LEW, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Treasury; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, Defendants-Appellants. CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BEAUMONT; CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS, INCORPORATED, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, in her official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services; THOMAS PEREZ, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Labor; JACOB J. LEW, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Treasury; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, Defendants-Appellants. CATHOLIC CHARITIES, DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, in her official capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; THOMAS PEREZ, in his official capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor; JACOB J. LEW, in his official capacity as Secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, Defendants-Appellants

Petition for certiorari filed at, 07/08/2015

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

REVERSED.

For EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY, HOUSTON BAPTIST UNIVERSITY, Plaintiffs - Appellees (4:12-CV-3009): Eric C. Rassbach, Diana Marie Verm, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Washington, DC.

For WESTMINSTER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, Intervenor Plaintiff - Appellee: Kenneth Reed Wynne, Esq., Wynne & Wynne, L.L.P., Houston, TX.

For SECRETARY SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, SECRETARY OF LABOR THOMAS PEREZ, SECRETARY JACOB LEW, Defendants - Appellants (4:12-CV-3009): Adam Craig Jed, Megan Barbero, Esq., Alisa Beth Klein, Esq., Joshua Marc Salzman, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, Washington, DC; Daniel David Hu, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Houston, TX; Jacek Pruski, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC.

For AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF TEXAS, Amici Curiae (4:12-CV-3009): Ayesha N. Khan, Esq., Americans United for Separation of Church & State, Washington, DC.

For LIBERTY, LIFE, AND LAW FOUNDATION (4:12-CV-3009, 14-10241, 14-40212, 14-10661), Amici Curiae: Deborah Jane Dewart, Attorney, Swansboro, NC.

For ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN PHYSICIANS & SURGEONS, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PRO-LIFE OBSTETRICIANS & GYNECOLOGISTS, CHRISTIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, CATHOLIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL CATHOLIC BIOETHICS CENTER, ALABAMA PHYSICIANS FOR LIFE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PRO LIFE NURSES, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC NURSES (4:12-CV-3009, 14-10241, 14-40212, 14-10661), Amici Curiae: Mailee Rebecca Smith, Esq., Americans United for Life, Washington, DC.

For UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS, Plaintiff - Appellee (14-10241): Basheer Youssef Ghorayeb, Thomas F. Allen, Jr., Natalia Oehninger Delaune, Tamara Marinkovic, Terence M. Murphy, Jones Day, Dallas, TX; John Walter Crumley, Esq., Fort Worth, TX.

For SECRETARY SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, in her official capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, JACOB J. LEW, in his official capacity as Secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury, THOMAS PEREZ, in his official capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, Defendants - Appellants (14-10241): Adam Craig Jed, Megan Barbero, Esq., Alisa Beth Klein, Esq., Patrick George Nemeroff, Joshua Marc Salzman, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, Washington, DC; Bradley Philip Humphreys, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC.

For CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BEAUMONT, CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS, INCORPORATED, Plaintiffs - Appellees (14-40212): Thomas F. Allen, Jr., Dallas, TX; Randal G. Cashiola, Chambers, Templeton, Cashiola & Thomas, Beaumont, TX; Natalia Oehninger Delaune, Basheer Youssef Ghorayeb, Jones Day, Dallas, TX.

For SECRETARY SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, in her official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, THOMAS PEREZ, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Treasury, JACOB J. LEW, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Labor, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, Defendants - Appellants (14-40212): Adam Craig Jed, Megan Barbero, Esq., Bradley Philip Humphreys, Alisa Beth Klein, Esq., Joshua Marc Salzman, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

For CATHOLIC CHARITIES, DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH, INCORPORATED, Plaintiff - Appellee (14-10661): Thomas F. Allen, Jr., Natalia Oehninger Delaune, Basheer Youssef Ghorayeb, Terence M. Murphy, Jones Day, Dallas, TX; John Walter Crumley, Esq., University Center, Fort Worth, TX.

For SECRETARY SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, in her official capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, JACOB J. LEW, in his official capacity as Secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, Defendants - Appellants (14-10661): Adam Craig Jed, Megan Barbero, Esq., Alisa Beth Klein, Esq., Patrick George Nemeroff, Joshua Marc Salzman, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, Washington, DC; Bradley Philip Humphreys, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC.

Before REAVLEY, SMITH, and GRAVES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

JERRY E. SMITH, Circuit Judge:

In these consolidated appeals, religious organizations challenge, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (" RFRA),[1] a requirement that they either offer their employees health insurance that covers certain contraceptive services or submit a form or notification declaring their religious opposition to that coverage. The district courts held that the requirement violates RFRA or, in one case, that the plaintiffs had demonstrated a substantial likelihood of establishing that it does, so they enjoined the government from enforcing it. Because the plaintiffs ...


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