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Nebraska v HHS

Nebraska v HHS

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Published by religionclause

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Published by: religionclause on Jul 18, 2012
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11/11/2013

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1IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKASTATE OF NEBRASKA, by and through,Jon C. Bruning, Atttorney General of theState of Nebraska, et al.,Plaintiffs,v.UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OFHEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES,KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, in her officialcapacity as the Secretary of the UnitedStates Department of Health and HumanServices, et al.,Defendants.))))))))))))))))4:12CV3035MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT’S MOTIONTO DISMISSOn February 23, 2012, the plaintiffs State of Nebraska, by and through Jon Bruning, AttorneyGeneral of the State of Nebraska (Nebraska); State of South Carolina, by and through Alan Wilson,Attorney General of the State of South Carolina (South Carolina); Bill Schuette, Attorney Generalof the State of Michigan, on behalf of the People of Michigan (Schuette); State of Texas, by andthrough Greg Abbott, Attorney General of the State of Texas (Texas); State of Florida, by andthrough Pam Bondi, Attorney General of the State of Florida (Florida); State of Ohio, by and throughMichael DeWine, Attorney General of the State of Ohio (Ohio); State of Oklahoma, by and throughScott Pruitt, Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma (Oklahoma); Sister Mary Catherine, CK (Sister Mary Catherine); Stacy Molai (Molai); Catholic Social Services; Pius X Catholic HighSchool (Pius X); and the Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America (Catholic Mutual) filed a five-count complaint against the defendants United States Department of Health and Human Services
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2(HHS); Kathleen Sebelius (Sebelius), in her official capacity as the Secretary of HHS; United SatesDepartment of the Treasury (Treasury); Timothy F. Geithner (Geithner), in his official capacity asthe Secretary of the Treasury; United States Department of Labor (DOL); and Hilda L. Solis (Solis),in her official capacity as Secretary of the DOL. (See Compl., ECF No. 1.) Now before me is thedefendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)and 12(b)(6). (See Defs.’ Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 30). For the following reasons, the defendants’motion will be granted.
I. BACKGROUNDA. The Parties
The plaintiffs Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Oklahoma are sovereignstates in the United States of America. (See Compl. ¶¶ 9-10, 12-15, ECF No. 1.) The plaintiff Schuette appears in this action for the people of Michigan. (See id. ¶ 11.) Collectively, these seven plaintiffs will be referred to as “the State plaintiffs.”The plaintiff Sister Mary Catherine is a Catholic nun affiliated with the School Sisters of Christ the King, which is a Catholic Order located in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Compl. ¶ 16, ECF No. 1.)The plaintiff Molai is a Catholic individual residing in Omaha, Nebraska, and a missionary employed by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), which is “a Catholic organizationengaged in ministry and outreach on college campuses throughout the United States and around theworld.” (Id. ¶¶ 22-23.) Collectively, these two plaintiffs will be referred to as “the individual plaintiffs.”
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3The plaintiff Catholic Social Services is “a Nebraska non-profit corporation,” “a faith-basedcharity services provider,” and “a Catholic religious organization employer.” (Compl. ¶ 34, ECF No.1.) It “is an affiliated entity of the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska[,] providing social charityto persons in southern Nebraska.” (Id. ¶ 35.) The plaintiff Pius X “is a Nebraska non-profitcorporation and is the sole Catholic high school for the City of Lincoln and the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.” (Id. 44.) The plaintiff Catholic Mutual “is a non-profit religious 501(c)(3) organizationwith its princip[al] place of business located in Omaha, Nebraska.” (Id. ¶ 51.) Collectively, thesethree plaintiffs will be referred to as “the organizational plaintiffs.”The defendants HHS, Treasury, and DOL (collectively, “the Departments”) are agencies of the United States, and as noted previously, the defendants Sebelius, Geithner, and Solis are sued intheir official capacities as the secretaries of those agencies. (Compl. ¶¶ 63-68, ECF No. 1.)
B. The Relevant Statutes and Regulations
The plaintiffs allege that certain “final rules” that were adopted by the defendants in order to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119(2010), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029 (2010) (collectively, the Affordable Care Act or ACA), will “coerce” religiousindividuals, “organizations, institutions, care providers, outreach groups, and social service agencies,among others, to directly subsidize contraception, abortifacients, sterilization, and related servicesin contravention [of] their religious beliefs.” (Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 1; see also id. ¶ 69.) They addthat “Plaintiff States’ budgetary stability” will be threatened if “religious organization employers
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