Archdiocese backs off on birth control fight, drops request for documents
WASHINGTON — Scaling down a legal fight with the White House, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has agreed to drop a request for documents about the government's requirement of insurance coverage for birth control, a court filing said.
The archdiocese sent a subpoena to President Obama's administration in February asking for documents from White House staff, including Obama himself, for use in a church lawsuit against the contraception mandate.
Citing the burden involved and calling a subpoena of the president's office inappropriate, the White House asked a federal judge to toss out the subpoena on April 4.
A notice filed in U.S. District Court in Washington late on Monday said the archdiocese agreed to withdraw its subpoena. It did not say why.
A lawyer for the archdiocese declined to comment on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department, which represented the White House in court, had no immediate comment.
The archdiocese is continuing its lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court challenging the Obama administration's health policy requirement that employers generally include coverage of birth control in health insurance plans they offer workers.
The Catholic Church teaches that artificial birth control is sinful because it violates natural law.
Part of the 2010 health care law championed by Obama and congressional Democrats, the birth control mandate has some exceptions for religious employers, but the New York archdiocese said it expected to incur nearly $200 million each year in penalties if it refuses to comply.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.