This is a long, thorough update on post `Hobby Lobby' regulations and cases. - gwc
Balkinization: Update on the contraception coverage regulations and litigation
by Marty Lederman
It's been almost a year since my last series of posts on the fallout from Hobby Lobby--in particular, on the challenges by nonprofit organizations to the government's augmented religious accommodation. (See my posts of July 18, July 24 and August 22 at this link.)
A lot has happened since then, and further Supreme Court review is now a distinct possibility (although hardly inevitable). And so, here's a post devoted to catching up, in three parts. First, a quick note on the government's new final rules regarding the religious accommodation (including its extension to some for-profit employers such as Hobby Lobby, Inc.). Second, a summary of the courts of appeals' treatment of the nonprofit challenges. And third, I'll discuss the handful of cert. petitions that already have been filed in the nonprofit cases--with particular emphasis on the theories of complicity that those petitions allege in support of the argument that the accommodation imposes a "substantial burden" on the plaintiffs' religious exercise.
Before getting to all of that, here's one other noteworthy development: In October, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study indicating that teenagers' cost-free access to long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods, including intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, can have a dramatic impact on the rates of unwanted pregnancies, births and abortions.