Tuesday, August 12, 2014

DC Circuit Acts On Case Remanded After Hobby Lobby

As previously reported, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Hobby Lobby case allowing for-profit-businesses to assert religious objections to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage mandate, it remanded three other cases on its docket posing the same issue. In what appears to be the first Circuit Court to act on the remand, the D.C. Circuit last week entered an order in Gilardi v. HHS (Aug. 8, 2014) providing:
it is ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the case be remanded to the district court with instructions to enter a preliminary injunction for the Freshway companies and to reconsider the denial of the preliminary injunction as to the individual owners in light of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014).
Yesterday's Insurance Journal reports on the order. In the case, the D.C. Circuit Court had originally rejected the claim that secular corporations have free exercise rights, but had remanded to the district court for further findings the claims of the individual owners. The ruling on corporate rights had been appealed to the Supreme Court. (See prior posting.)

Little attention has been given to the fact that plaintiffs in the case asserted, consistent with their Catholic beliefs, that they have religious objections to all atificial contraception, not just the limited number of contraceptive methods involved in Hobby Lobby. (Gilardi complaint.) Apparently last week's D.C. Circuit Court order requires the district court to issue an injunction protecting these broader objections.