Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cert. Petitions Filed In Two Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Cases

Scotus blog reports that on Thursday, petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court were filed in two separate cases challenging the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate. One petition (full text) seeks review of the Third Circuit's decision in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. In a 2-1 decision in the case, the majority held that "for-profit, secular corporations cannot engage in religious exercise," and the conscience rights of the owners of a corporation do not pass through to the corporation. (See prior posting.) The second petition (full text) seeks review of Tenth Circuit's decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.  In the case in an en banc decision, a majority held that that corporations have free exercise rights and that the contraceptive coverage mandate substantially burdens those rights without a compelling governmental interest. (See prior posting.) [Thanks to James Oleske via Religionlaw for the lead.]