US Supreme Court Strikes Down Mandate Under RFRA
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the United States Supreme Court struck down Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations imposing contraceptives mandates on closely held corporations when those mandates violate sincerely held religious beliefs. A divided Court held that HHS regulations imposing contraceptive mandates violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which prohibits the federal government from taking any action that substantially burdens the exercise of religion.
South Dakota had joined with 17 states as Amicus Curiae or “friend of the Court” in a brief challenging the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which held that the employer contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act did not violate religious principles.
“There is a continued unease that the federal takeover of healthcare infringes upon our individual and state rights. Although a divided Supreme Court previously held the Individual Mandate was a Constitutional Tax, the Court has now struck down the Health and Human Services implementation of certain employee mandates that infringe upon Freedom of Religion,” said Jackley.
The Court held that HHS regulations substantially burden the exercise of religion. The Supreme Court recognized that Congress extended religious protections to corporations in order to protect the rights of people, including employees associated with the corporation.