Sunday, December 30, 2012

Court Grants Mennonite-Owned Business TRO In Challenge To Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

In Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, (ED PA, Dec. 28, 2012), a Pennsylvania federal district court issued a 14-day temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate against a cabinet and wood specialties company whose Mennonite owners object on religious grounds to furnishing coverage for contraceptives they consider abortifacients. (See prior posting.) The TRO is limited to "the  provision  of  insurance coverage  for  the contraceptive services to which Plaintiffs object on religious grounds." The court set a hearing on a preliminary injunction for Jan. 4.  In granting the TRO, the court said:
In light of the opinions of several courts favoring Plaintiffs’ position in this case, we find that Plaintiffs have demonstrated a reasonable probability of success on the merits of their RFRA  claim.  While  additional  evidence is  necessary to  determine  whether Plaintiffs’ likelihood of success is sufficient to justify an injunction for the duration of the litigation, we find it to be adequate to warrant temporary relief pending a preliminary injunction hearing.
Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the decision.