Texas diocese’s challenge to contraceptive coverage mandate dismissed on ripeness grounds

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas v. Sebelius, (ND TX, Feb. 26, 2013), a Texas federal district court dismissed on ripeness grounds a challenge by the Catholic Diocese of Dallas to the contraceptive coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act. The court held that while plaintiff at the time of filing the lawsuit faced sufficiently imminent injury to have standing, subsequent developments require a dismissal for lack of ripeness. The government’s Feb. 2013 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking undermine a realistic and pragmatic consideration of the issue at this time.