July 18, 2012
Wheaton College sues Obama for ‘contraception mandate’
Wheaton College is announcing this morning that it will filed suit in federal court to enjoin President Obama’s so-called “contraception mandate.” The Illinois evangelical school is not the first religious institution—and not the first Protestant one—to file such a lawsuit.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey writes for Christianity Today:
I’m interested to see how these lawsuits shake out.
Courts are not likely to find that the contraception requirement violates the First Amendment. History with challenges to similar state laws suggests as much—in large part because freedom of religion does not exempt religious conduct from generally applicable laws.
However, it may well violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which requires a federal inaction imposing a substantial burden on religious practice to pass strict scrutiny. Is the contraception mandate really the least restrictive means to achieve a compelling government purpose?
With lawsuits by religious institutions continuing to accrue, we’ll soon see.