The Obama administration has had great success with having lawsuits from Catholic institutions dismissed on the grounds that it’s too soon for them to sue or that the Administration may yet change some key ingredient in the HHS mandate to make it more palatable to Catholic organizations and individuals. But the Archdiocese of New York, led by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, just scored a big win.
On top of refusing to dismiss the case despite the Administration’s pleas, Judge Brian Cogan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York delivered a scathing rebuke of the Administration’s argument. Kathryn Lopez published the judge’s words as:
Fundamentally . . . this Court cannot accept that the present costs incurred by plaintiffs are simply the result of their “desire to prepare for contingencies.” Quite frankly, ignoring the speeding train that is coming towards plaintiffs in the hope that it will stop might well be inconsistent with the fiduciary duties that plaintiffs’ directors or officers owe to their members. As explained above, the practical realities of administering health care coverage for large numbers of employees – which defendants’ recognize – require plaintiffs to incur these costs in advance of the impending effectiveness of the Coverage Mandate. That is a business reality that any responsible board of directors would have to appreciate.