Howard Friedman, Religion Clause
In Wheaton College v. Sebelius, (D DC, Aug. 24,2012), the D.C. federal district court dismissed for lack of standing and ripeness a challenge by Wheaton College to the mandate issued under the Affordable Care Act requiring group health insurance policies to cover contraceptive services for women. Wheaton College claimed that offering Plan B and Ella emergency contraception violates its religious beliefs. (See prior posting.) Because the Department of Health and Human Services has announced a one-year enforcement safe harbor for non-profit groups whose religious beliefs are violated by the mandate, the court concluded that Wheaton does not face imminent enforcement action.