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Constitutional Law — Free Exercise Clause — ACA

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Civil

Constitutional Law — Free Exercise Clause — ACA

A Catholic business owner is entitled to an injunction against enforcement of the ACA’s requirement that he provide contraception to employees.

“[T]he government advances the same arguments as it did in Korte. To abbreviate, the government maintains that (1) a secular, for-profit corporation cannot assert a claim under RFRA; (2) relatedly, the free-exercise rights of the individual plaintiffs are not affected because their corporation is a separate legal entity; and (3) the mandate’s burden on their free-exercise rights is too remote and attenuated to qualify as ‘substantial’ under RFRA because the decision to use contraception benefits is made by third parties— individual employees, in consultation with their medical providers. We addressed these arguments in our order in Korte, and nothing presented here requires us to reconsider that prior ruling. Here, as in Korte, the Grote Family’s use of the corporate form is not dispositive of the claim. See Korte, 2012 WL 6757353, at *3 (citing Citizens United v. Fed. Election Comm’n, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)). And the government’s minimalist characterization of the burden continues to obscure the substance of the religious-liberty violation asserted here. Id. The members of the Grote Family contend that their faith forbids them to facilitate access to contraception by paying for it, as the mandate requires them to do.”

Injunction Granted.

13-1077 Grote v. Sebelius

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Barker, J.

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