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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Judge Barker denies injunction in Affordable Care Act challenge

The news yesterday, as stated briefly in the NY Times:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court refused to block enforcement next week of a requirement in the health care overhaul that some companies provide insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices. In an order Wednesday, Justice Sotomayor, who hears emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit, said two companies controlled by the Oklahoma City billionaire David Green and his family did not qualify for an injunction while they challenged the rule. The companies, Hobby Lobby Stores, with more than 500 stores, and Mardel, with 35 Christian bookstores, said it violated their religious beliefs to require their health plans to cover contraception.
Indiana has a similar challenge in its earliest stages. In this 24-page Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, dated Dec. 27, 2012, in the case of Grote Industries v. Sebelius, Judge Sarah Evans Barker writes:
[Plaintiffs are] challenging preventive care coverage regulations (“the mandate”) issued under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), as amended by the Health Care and Reconciliation Act, Pub. L. No. 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029 (2010) (“Affordable Care Act” or “ACA”), which Plaintiffs allege require them “to pay for and otherwise facilitate the insurance coverage and use of abortifacient drugs, contraception, sterilization, and related education and counseling.” Compl. ¶ 7. Plaintiffs contend that the mandate violates their statutory rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq. (“RFRA”) and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 701, et seq. (“APA”) as well as their constitutional rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs seek both declaratory and injunctive relief.

Presently before the Court is the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction seeking an order prohibiting Defendants from enforcing the mandate against them and others similarly situated when it goes into effect on January 1, 2012. After review of the parties’ submissions, we DENY Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief. * * *

For the reasons detailed in this entry, we find that Plaintiffs have failed to establish a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of any of their claims. Because likelihood of success is a threshold requirement for injunctive relief, we need not proceed further in our analysis. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction is DENIED.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 27, 2012 02:38 PM
Posted to Ind Fed D.Ct. Decisions