On March 25, Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn of the U.S. District Court in Birmingham dismissed EWTN’s lawsuit against the HHS mandate (see our story on page one).
The unfortunate decision does not address the constitutional issues at the heart of our lawsuit, but focuses instead on two technical issues raised by the government in its opposition to our suit.
On a positive note, Judge Blackburn rejected the federal government’s position that EWTN had no standing to file the lawsuit. She held that EWTN made a convincing argument as to its standing as a plaintiff that would indeed be harmed by the mandate.
The second issue, however, involves patience. The judge accepted the government’s contention that EWTN had not yet actually been harmed by the mandate, since it has promised further amendments to the rules. Once those changes are implemented, the judge left the door open for us to file a new lawsuit if the revisions are not acceptable.
So, while this outcome is certainly disappointing, it was not entirely unexpected. The majority of cases decided to date have been dismissed because of the "ripeness argument." We are in the process of considering our options with our legal team from the Becket Fund.
In the meantime, I am grateful for your continued prayerful support.
God bless you!