Ozinga v. Price, No. 15-3648 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Seventh Circuit directed the district court to dismiss, as moot, a lawsuit by a Chicago-area family-owned firm, challenging the “contraception mandate” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, 124 Stat. 119. Ozinga regards certain of the contraceptives covered by the mandate as potential abortifacients, the use of which is proscribed by its owners’ and managers’ religious tenets, and sued under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb, in 2013. The government had established an accommodation for certain religious employers that provided for alternate means of ensuring employee access to the contraceptive services specified by the mandate without payment or direct involvement by an objecting employer; the accommodation was not then available to for-profit employers like Ozinga. In light of Seventh Circuit precedent, the district court granted Ozinga a preliminary injunction. The Supreme Court subsequently decided, in “Hobby Lobby” (2014), that the contraception mandate, as applied to closely-held private firms whose owners objected on religious grounds to contraceptives covered by the mandate, substantially burdened the exercise of religion by those owners and their companies, in view of the fines to which they were subject for noncompliance. The government then extended the accommodation to private employers, including Ozinga, rendering its suit moot.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on December 27, 2016.