Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pennsylvania Diocese Gets Permanent Injunction Against ACA Contraceptive Mandate

In Brandt v. Burwell, (WD PA, Aug. 20, 2014), a Pennsylvania federal district court issued a permanent injunction under RFRA against requiring the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania and affiliated organizations to comply with the  compromise rules under the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate.  In its 53-page opinion, the court said in part:
Here, the issue is whether Plaintiffs, being non-secular in nature, have successfully proven that their right to freely exercise their religion under RFRA has been substantially burdened by the “accommodation,” which requires the Bishop of Greensburg (or his designees) to sign a form (EBSA Form 700) that thereby facilitates/initiates the provision of contraceptive products, services, and counseling. Based upon the evidence of record as set forth in the Court’s factual findings, this Court concludes that the accommodation substantially burdens Plaintiffs’right to freely exercise their religion.
Trib Total Meida reports on the decision. The court had previously issued a preliminary injunction in the case. (See prior posting.)