Geneva College v. Burwell, Zubik v. Burwell,

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: November 6, 2015
  • Case #: 15-191, 14-1418
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 778 F.3d 422 (3rd Cir.)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the process to receive an accommodation under the Affordable Care Act, which allows a non-profit religious organization to not pay for mandated coverage of contraception, relieves the substantial burden under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

Petitioners are a non-profit religious college and a Cathoic Church bishop who are challenging the ACA requirement that employers provide “preventative care” insurance to their employees, including contraceptive services. HHS has created an accommodation that allows non-profit religious organizations to opt out of the preventative care coverage after providing notice. Under this accommodation, the coverage is independently provided to employees by the health insurance issuer or third party administrator. Petitioners argue that the opt out accommodation violates RFRA. Petitioners argue that the accommodation imposes a “substantial burden on their religious exercise,” because opting out “triggers” insurance coverage by another party. The Tenth Circuit held that the accommodation provision did not violate RFRA. Petitioners ask the court to consider whether the accommodation provision, allowing non-profit religious organizations to not directly provide preventative care coverage to their employees, violates RFRA.

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