Dordt College v. Burwell, No. 14-2726 (8th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL), and Treasury appealed a preliminary injunction that enjoins the government from enforcing the contraceptive mandate provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), 42 U.S.C. 300gg-13(a)(4), and its implementing regulations against nonprofit religious organizations that offer healthcare coverage to their employees. The district court’s order also enjoined the government from enforcing the challenged provisions against “any insurance provider (including insurance issuers and third-party administrators) offering health insurance to” the organizations. The Eighth Circuit affirmed, stating that by coercing the organizations to participate in the contraceptive mandate and accommodation process under threat ofsevere monetary penalty, the government has substantially burdened their exercise of religion. Even assuming that the government’s interests in safeguarding public health and ensuring equal access to health care for women are compelling,the contraceptive mandate and accommodation process likely are not the least restrictive means of furthering those interests.