Brief: Amicus Brief in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and New Jersey v. Trump

Franke, Katherine M.

On Monday, March 25th, Professor Katherine Franke, Faculty Director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School, joined an amicus brief in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and New Jersey v. Trump,* a challenge to two rules that exempt employers with religious or moral objections from compliance with the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act. The brief explains that these rules actually conflict with Constitutional religious liberty law by requiring employees to bear the cost of their employer's beliefs, regardless of their own religious or moral convictions. As explained in the brief:

"Those employees and their dependents will bear these costs as the price of accommodating their employers’ religious convictions. The Framers opposed forcing non-adherents to pay a small tax in order to support others’ beliefs. Yet the Religious Exemption Rule goes much further, forcing a nationwide subset of Americans to surrender their rights to preventive health care in order to benefit another subset of Americans opposed to contraception. The Establishment Clause forbids this."

Two district courts have already blocked the rules from going into effect. The brief is available here:

*Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and New Jersey v. Trump is case No. 17-3752 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


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May 6, 2019