Trump admin shells out $3 million to settle lawsuits

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The Trump administration agreed to pay $3 million to settle lawsuits filed against the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate.

According to BuzzFeed News, the law firm Jones Day, which filed most of the lawsuits, originally sued for more than $29 million.

Court documents revealed that the Trump administration separately agreed to pay $268,763 to First Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm focused on issues of religious liberty, that also represented groups that filed lawsuits over the mandate.

The two settlement agreements were reached in October.

A Justice Department spokesperson said, “As the President and the Attorney General have made clear, they will always seek to protect and defend religious liberty. The protracted litigation never should have happened in the first place and the government appropriately paid reasonable attorney’s fees and costs as is required by law to be paid to prevailing parties in cases brought under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

The administration has not reached agreements with all of the groups that filed lawsuits over the Obama-era mandate. One of the remaining cases is the well-publicized lawsuit involving the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Trump administration began to rescind the contraception mandate in October.

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