Monday, August 18, 2014

Religious Non-Profit College Wins Attack on Contraceptive Mandate Compromise

In Louisiana College v. Sebelius, (WD LA, Aug. 13, 2014), a Louisiana federal district court granted summary judgment to Louisiana College on its claim that its rights under RFRA are infringed by the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage accommodation for religious non-profits.  The college is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and offers it employees a self-insured plan through a third party administrator that is also an SBC affiliate.  The court held that the requirement that plaintiff self-certify its objections, or else incur onerous penalties, creates a substantial burden on its free exercise because of its religious objections to facilitating access to contraceptive methods it deem abortifacients. The government failed to show that the compromise was the least restrictive means to achieve a compelling governmental interest. The Shreveport Times reports on the decision.