COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Ave Maria University is filing suit against the Federal government again. The school is going back to court, months after its first lawsuit against the President's health care overhaul was thrown out.
Just like that lawsuit, this new one deals with the contraception mandate and the controversy surrounding birth control, which the university says violates its religious beliefs.
Ave Maria first filed suit over this last February, but in March of this year, a U.S. district court judge dismissed it, saying the government was continuing its efforts to work with the school and the regulations for the Affordable Care Act were not yet finalized.
University President Jim Towey said Thursday he feels the government made no effort to compromise or accomodate the school's religious beliefs.
"The Federal government clearly is expecting us to be complicit to cooperate to facilitate this. And we think it's wrong," said Jim Towey, Ave Maria President.
The school says on January 1, what's been called "safe harbor" protection will run out, and the mandate will be in full effect. If Ave Maria still does not comply, the university says it faces fines of $100 a day, per employee.
"Where would $7 million come from? From Heaven? I don't know where the money would come from," said Towey. "To try to cover a fine like this... and I have a hard time imagining how that's in the best interest of the country to shut down a university that's adhering to its own religious beliefs."
The university this time has enlisted the help the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has won several cases regarding First Amendment rights.
Paperwork for the lawsuit was filed Thursday morning. Towey said next week the school will file a preliminary injunction on the mandate.