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"There is no 'trust us, changes are coming' clause in the Constitution," wrote judge Brian Cogan.

The New York Archdiocese filed suit in May, objecting to the fines it would face under the mandate. According to Reuters, Cogan denied the federal government's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that the archdiocese had sufficiently demonstrated that it "expects to incur nearly $200 million each year in penalties if it is forced to comply with the coverage requirement."

However, Cogan did dismiss claims from the diocese of Rockville Centre and its Catholic Charities wing.

Duncan says the D.C. appellate court's decision is "the same flavor" as the New York court's ruling.

"It's not enough for the government to say, 'Trust us,'" he said. "We don't simply let the government slide by on a problem when you're talking about constitutional rights."

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