Wednesday, April 08, 2015

5th Circuit Hears Oral Arguments In ACA Non-Profit Contraceptive Mandate Case

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday heard oral arguments (audio recording of full arguments) in East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell.  In the case, a Texas federal district court enjoined the government from enforcing the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate against two Baptist universities and a Presbyterian seminary.  The court concluded that under RFRA the contraceptive mandate accommodation calling for objecting religious non-profits to complete a self-certification form imposes a substantial burden on the schools' free exercise rights. (See prior posting.) Federal agencies have made some changes in the manner in which non-profits may opt out subsequent to the district court decision.  Houston Chronicle reports on the oral arguments.