The court's divided decision makes it more likely the Supreme Court will have to decide if companies making a secular product have to provide contraception coverage to their employees -- a major tenet of the 2010 health care law.
The Washington Post: Contraceptive Mandate Divides Appeals Courts
A federal appeals court ruling on Friday increased the chances that the Supreme Court in its coming term will need to settle whether secular, for-profit corporations must provide contraceptive coverage to employees despite the owners' religious objections. A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that a Pennsylvania cabinet-making company owned by a Mennonite family must comply with the contraceptive mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act (Barnes, 7/26).
The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog: Appeals Court: For-Profit Companies Don't Have Religious Rights
Companies can be prosecuted like in-the-flesh people and they have First Amendment rights to free speech. But the next "corporate personhood" question the Supreme Court will likely confront is whether for-profit companies also enjoy religious rights. Federal courts are fractured on the issue (Palazzolo, 7/26).
Reuters: U.S. Court Rejects Firm's Challenge To Obamacare Contraception Mandate
A divided federal appeals court on Friday rejected a Pennsylvania cabinet maker's religion-based challenge to the 2010 health care law's requirement that larger companies provide workers with health insurance covering birth control. The decision created a split among federal appeals courts, boosting the chance that the U.S. Supreme Court may step in to resolve the dispute over challenges to the provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare (Stempel, 7/26).
The Associated Press: Court Rejects Pa. Firm's Health Care Law Challenge
A federal appeals court ruled Friday against the Mennonite owners of a central Pennsylvania furniture manufacturing company who claimed new health insurance requirements that they pay for employees' contraceptive services violated their First Amendment rights. The 2-1 decision issued by a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a lower court decision that Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. does not qualify for the exemption because it is a for-profit company making a secular product with no formal ties to a church or other religious group (Loviglio, 7/26).