Howard Friedman, Religion Clause
In Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, (ED PA, Dec. 28, 2012), a Pennsylvania federal district court issued a 14-day temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate against a cabinet and wood specialties company whose Mennonite owners object on religious grounds to furnishing coverage for contraceptives they consider abortifacients. (See prior posting.) The TRO is limited to “the provision of insurance coverage for the contraceptive services to which Plaintiffs object on religious grounds.” The court set a hearing on a preliminary injunction for Jan. 4. In granting the TRO, the court said:
In light of the opinions of several courts favoring Plaintiffs’ position in this case, we find that Plaintiffs have demonstrated a reasonable probability of success on the merits of their RFRA claim. While additional evidence is necessary to determine whether Plaintiffs’ likelihood of success is sufficient to justify an injunction for the duration of the litigation, we find it to be adequate to warrant temporary relief pending a preliminary injunction hearing.
Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the decision.