Friday, February 24, 2012

7 States Sue HHS Over Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Yesterday saw still another lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's mandate requiring most health insurance policies to cover contraceptive services.  This suit was filed by seven state attorneys-general (Nebraska, South Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Florida, Ohio and Oklahoma) along with several Catholic institutions and individuals.  The complaint (full text) in State of Nebraska v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (D NE, filed 2/23/2012) alleges that the mandate violaes the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as well as constitutionally protected freedom of speech, association and free exercise of religion. The section of the complaint relating to the interest the attorneys-general have in bringing the lawsuit interestingly sets forth different allegations of interest for different states. It asserts that the Nebraska and Michigan attorneys-general are bringing the lawsuit on behalf of the people of their state.  As to the other attorneys general, the complaint alleges only that they are bringing the lawsuit on behalf of each of their sovereign states. Nebraska's Attorney General issued a press release announcing the lawsuit.