Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Relying On Hobby Lobby Case, Court Enjoins ACA Mandate's Application To 4 Contraceptive Methods

In Briscoe v. Sebelius, (D CO, Sept. 6, 2013), a Colorado federal district court granted a preliminary injunction to a for-profit corporation, two related for-profit LLCs and their evangelical Christian owner who have religious objections to contraceptive methods they believe operate as abortifacients.  The companies manage and operate senior care assisted living centers and skilled nursing facilities, and offer a self-insurance plan to their over 200 employees.  The court's preliminary injunction bars enforcing the Affordable Care Act's preventative care mandate against plaintiffs with respect to four FDA approved contraceptive methods: (1)Ella; (2) Plan B, Plan B One-Step, and Next Choice (Levonorgestrel); (3) the Copper IUD; and, (4) the IUD with Progestin. Last February, the court refused to grant a temporary restraining order in the case. (See prior posting.)  However, subsequently the 10th Circuit, en banc, decided the Hobby Lobby case, holding that corporations have free exercise rights, and that the contraceptive coverage mandate substantially burdened those rights without a compelling governmental interest. (See prior posting.) Relying on this holding, the district court here granted the relief sought. Live Action News reports on the decision.