Sunday, September 15, 2013

Court Denies Preliminary Injunction In Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Case

In M.K. Chambers Co. v. Department of Health and Human Services, (ED MI, Sept. 13, 2013), a Michigan federal district court refused to grant a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate against a a closely-held machinery components company and its two Catholic owners.  The court held that plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on the merits of their 1st Amendment, RFRA and Administrative Procedure Act arguments, saying in part:
The Court takes as true, Plaintiffs’ deeply held religious beliefs. However, courts have held that the Mandate in question applies only to the corporate entity, not to its officers or owners, and that as to the individual owners, any burden imposed on them individually by the contraception mandate is remote and too attenuated to be considered substantial for purposes of the RFRA.
The court previously denied a temporary restraining order in the case. (See prior posting.)