10th Circuit rules against Little Sisters of the Poor on contraceptive mandate “accommodation”

Today the 10th Circuit issued its long-awaited (and just plain long) opinion in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, in which several religious groups are challenging the so-called accommodation that the Department of Health and Human Services is providing to non-profit religious groups. As I explained here, the religious groups claim that the accommodation is unsatisfactory because, as structured, it still requires them to facilitate access to contraceptives and abortifacients, in violation of their deeply-held moral convictions.

The Court, in a 2-1 opinion written by Judge Scott Matheson, joined several other federal appellate courts in rejecting the religious groups’ challenge. Judge Bobby Baldock wrote a dissenting opinion.

The opinion clocks in at 98 pages, and the dissent at 25 pages, so I haven’t had time to digest them, and probably won’t have time to do so today, but I hope to add links to commentary by others, so check back later today.

Given the importance of the issues, I think we should expect the appellants to seek en banc review.

UPDATE (July 15, 2015): The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented some of the religious groups, have released this statement in reaction to the decision.

The Hill has a story entitled “Court: Nuns must comply with ObamaCare’s birth control mandate.”

The Denver Post a story entitled “Denver’s Little Sisters of the Poor lose contraception coverage ruling.”

The Huffington Post has a story entitled “Nuns Lose Case Against Birth Control Mandate.”

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