January 21, 2014 — A federal appeals court has ruled that three University of Notre Dame students can anonymously join the federal government in fighting the school's lawsuit against the federal contraceptive coverage rules, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The women want to intervene in the case because they bring a different perspective than government lawyers, according to Ayesha Khan, legal director at the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which is representing the women.
"They are the people who would be impacted by Notre Dame getting out of the ... regulation," she said, adding, "The United States is defending an entire regulatory skein, not speaking on behalf of any particularly affected women" (Coyne, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/15).
The women argued that they are entitled to participate in the suit because they will be directly affected by its outcome (Brachear Pashman, Chicago Tribune, 1/14).
Khan said the students' decisions to attend the university should not exclude them from contraceptive coverage "that the government has determined to be necessary for women's health care" (AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/15).