Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Cert. Petition Filed In Contraceptive Mandate Exemption Challenge

The Justice Department yesterday filed a petition for certiorari (full text) in Trump v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In the case, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court's entry of a nationwide preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Trump Administration's final rules expanding the scope of the exemptions under the Affordable Care Act for employers having religious or moral objections to contraceptive coverage. (See prior posting.) The cert. petition presents the following questions:
1. Whether the agencies had statutory authority under the ACA and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ..., to expand the conscience exemption to the contraceptive-coverage mandate.
2. Whether the agencies’ decision to forgo notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing the interim final rules rendered the final rules—which were issued after notice and comment—invalid under the Administrative Procedure Act....
3. Whether the court of appeals erred in affirming a nationwide preliminary injunction barring implementation of the final rules.
[Thanks to Tom Rutledge for the lead.]