Notre Dame suffers defeat on national playing field

A federal judge this week dismissed the University of Notre Dame's suit against the Obama administration's birth-control coverage policy.

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller wrote that Notre Dame's claims of injury are not ripe and that the school does not have standing to bring them.

The university challenged the constitutionality of a federal regulation that requires religious organizations to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate insurance coverage for services that violate the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Under the policy, which came as part of President Obama's signature healthcare law, most employers must cover a range of birth-control methods in their health plans without cost-sharing.

Churches and houses of worship are exempt, and employees of religiously affiliated institutions such as Catholic schools will receive birth control directly from their insurers.

The question is more complicated for religious institutions that self-insure and pay all employee health claims.


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