Friday, August 21, 2015

6th Circuit Again Upholds ACA Accommodation For Religious Non-Profits

The U.S 6th Circuit Court of Appeals today, deciding a case that had been remanded to it (see prior posting) by the Supreme Court after that Court's Hobby Lobby decision, reaffirmed its earlier decision upholding against a RFRA challenge the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act accommodation for religious non-profits that object to furnishing their employees insurance coverage for contraceptives.  In Michigan Catholic Conference v. Burwell, (6th Cir., Aug. 21, 2015), the 6th Circuit said in part:
Despite our attempts to describe how the accommodation actually works, it is perhaps inevitable that some Plaintiffs will still believe that they are morally complicit in sin, by being a part of a system that provides access to contraceptives.... However, it is not our role to determine a party’s moral complicity; we do not question here Plaintiffs’ “desire not to participate in the provision of contraception.” ... Our role is a more limited one: to determine whether, as a legal matter, the regulation represents a substantial burden to Plaintiffs’ rights under RFRA. That requires us to determine how the law works and what it asks of various actors. On this point, as we held before, “[t]he government’s imposition of an independent obligation on a third party does not impose a substantial burden on the appellants’exercise of religion.”
[Thanks to How Appealing for the lead.]