Court: Contraceptive Mandate Splits Religion into Worship or Good Works

Religious right to a clean conscience outweighs government's desire to increase access to contraceptives, says Penn. ruling.

With more than 80 lawsuits and 200-plus plaintiffs, the ongoing legal fight over the HHS contraceptive mandate long ago surpassed the attention span of many laypeople. But things are getting interesting as observers wait to see which case will soon be picked up by the U.S. Supreme Court. (Smart money says Hobby Lobby.)

Most of the action has been on the for-profit side (43 cases and counting), where—out of the 38 lawsuits decided on the merits of their complaints—32 have secured temporary bans against the mandate's enforcement and 6 have been denied, according to a helpful scorecard kept by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. (Most recently, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued an important but nuanced ruling in what Religion Clause's Howard Friedman calls the government's test case, Gilardi v. HHS.)

But yesterday saw one of the first rulings to address the merits of lawsuits by nonprofit plaintiffs (39 cases and counting), notes Religion Clause, which has ...

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