Once again, this dismissal is not on the merits of the case but the timing. The decision reportedly states that Notre Dame’s claims weren’t ripe because the Obama administration has yet to finalize the mandate and they promised to modify it at some point in the future.
The federal government had asked U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr., a Reagan appointee, to dismiss the case on those grounds.
The Becket Fund had urged the court not to dismiss on the grounds that even though the Obama administration has promised to amend the mandate, it has yet to do so and Notre Dame must make budgeting decisions for next year when the “safe harbor” rule runs out.
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Miller cited in his decision the Obama administration’s promise to accommodate religious institutions like Notre Dame that insure themselves.
“Notre Dame lacks standing to attack the present regulatory requirement because it isn’t subject to that requirement, and, taking the defendants at their word, never will be subject to the present regulation,” Miller wrote.
Earlier this year, Belmont Abbey College saw its lawsuit dismissed only to see an appellate court reinstate its lawsuit against the HHS mandate earlier this month.