The University of Notre Dame, along with other Catholic groups, filed lawsuits Monday against the Obama administration over a federal mandate that requires most employers to provide free contraceptives as part of their health insurance plans for workers. The suits were filed in eight states plus Washington, D.C., making them the largest push back against the controversial policy since President Obama announced it in January.

“We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others,” said the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president. “We simply ask that the government not impose its values on the university when those values conflict with our religious teachings.”

The Huffington Post:

Other religious colleges and institutions have already filed federal suit over the mandate, but observers had been closely watching for Notre Dame’s next step.

The university, among the best-known Catholic schools in the country, has indicated past willingness to work with Obama, despite their differences with him on abortion and other issues. Notre Dame came under unprecedented criticism from U.S. bishops and others in 2009 for inviting Obama, who supports abortion rights, as commencement speaker and presenting him with an honorary law degree.

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In addition to Notre Dame, the Catholic University of America, the Archdioceses of Washington and New York and the Michigan Catholic Conference have also sued over the birth control mandate. –TEB

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