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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Ind. Decisions - " Divided opinions on contraceptive mandate: Notre Dame only religious entity denied contraceptive injunction"

Madeline Buckley of the South Bend Tribune has a good, very long story in the Sunday edition with this introduction:

The form that allows religious nonprofits to opt out of paying for contraceptives is two pages long, with three fill-in boxes for information and a line for a signature and date.

Its basic simplicity on the surface is at odds with the divisive and complicated litigation it has spawned.

For the University of Notre Dame and 18 other religious nonprofit organizations that have challenged the contraceptives mandate of the Affordable Care Act, the form is just a piece of paper that still forces them to play a role in facilitating coverage that is against their religious beliefs.

But for the government, the form is a compromise that allows these nonprofits to declare their opposition and shift the payment of the contraceptives elsewhere.

It's an issue that has already resulted in divided opinions among judges who have heard bids for temporary exemptions from the mandate, making it a case that could head to the U.S. Supreme Court, some experts say.

That is if the nation's high court ruling on the similar Hobby Lobby lawsuit (expected in June) doesn't have strong implications for cases like Notre Dame's.

A key difference in the cases, though, -- Hobby Lobby is a for-profit business with no religious affiliation -- might gear up the nonprofits for a separate fight.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 2, 2014 11:24 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions