Religious Freedom Restoration Act

News & Analysis as of

New Developments in Protections for LGBT Workers

It’s been a busy few weeks for developments in the area of LGBT rights since the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell , 576 U.S. ___ (2015)....more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2015

Religious institutions commonly keep ministry supporters and members abreast of developments through newsletters, correspondence and other communications. Sometimes, the developments reported are embarrassing to those...more

Orthodox Synagogue Sues Dallas, Texas

The City of Dallas, Texas is in a familiar position. It’s being sued for religious discrimination. Last year, the City Council agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by two churches ministering to the homeless...more

SC Public Policy Update - April 2015 #2

HOUSE - The House of Representatives spent the last two weeks working in committees and trying to get bills passed out of the House prior to the May 1st cross-over deadline. For a bill to be considered during this...more

St. Louis Homeless Shelter Files RLUIPA Claim and Requests Preliminary Injunction to Continue Operations

Plaintiff, New Life Evangelistic Center, Inc., (“New Life”), an interdenominational Christian Church formed in 1972 by Reverend Larry Rice, recently sued the City of St. Louis, Missouri (the “City”) in the Eastern District of...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2015

Several interrelated legal developments make it more important than ever for religious institutions intending to qualify for exemptions to generally applicable laws to do the hard work before litigation or administrative...more

Federal Court Enters Injunctive Order Against Bayview, Texas in RLUIPA Suit Filed by Church

We previously reported on the case Cornerstone Church by the Bay v. Town of Bayview, Texas, in which the Church and the Laguna Madre Christian Academy are suing the Town (population approx. 400) under the Religious Land Use &...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Last week, a unanimous three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld the religious accommodation to the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) contraceptive coverage mandate (Priests for Life v. HHS, D.C. Cir. No. 13-5368, Nov. 14,...more

The Contraception Coverage Controversy Continues…

As we have been discussing, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires all health plans to cover preventive health services for women, including all Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)-approved contraceptives, at no cost (i.e....more

Religious Institutions: October 2014

Timely Topics - Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more

Hobby Lobby and the Employer-Sponsored Health Plan

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (134 S. Ct. 2751, June 30, 2014), the Supreme Court ruled that closely-held for-profit corporations may refuse for religious reasons to cover contraceptives otherwise required to be...more

Hobby Lobby Redux

The regulations set forth two possible approaches to defining a “qualifying closely held for-profit entity” In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014) the Supreme Court held that the requirement to...more

Expect Focus - Regulators Are Watching: New Products, New Opportunities, New Risks - Volume III, Summer 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Standard CGL Policy Form Adds Data Breach Coverage Exclusion - LIFE INSURANCE ..Class Claims Against Lincoln National Barred in Section 419 Action – Again ...more

Government Agencies Release Further Accommodations to Organizations Opposing Mandated Contraceptive Coverage

In response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Labor (DOL) published proposed rules on August 22, 2014, expanding the...more

Monthly Benefits Update - July 2014

Two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the validity of subsidies for the purchase of health insurance under the federal marketplace established pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On July 22, a...more

A Review of the Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 Term

The United States Supreme Court concluded its 2013-2014 term by issuing decisions in several highly publicized employment and employee benefits cases during the Court’s final scheduled sessions, including Noel Canning,...more

Stay Tuned: Impact of Supreme Court Decision on ACA's Contraceptive Mandate Uncertain

It’s too soon to know the impact on the workplace of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that certain businesses may opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement to pay for birth control in their healthcare...more

Lake County, Illinois “Hat Trick”* Defeats Religious Meditation House in Federal Suit

In MAUM Meditation House of Truth v. Lake County, Illinois, No. 13-cv-3794 (N.D. Ill. 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Lake County, Illinois did not violate MAUM...more

Health Care Update - July 2014 #3

In This Issue: - First Guidance following Hobby Lobby released - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional and State...more

Hobby Lobby: Just a Start

As a trial lawyer, I rarely pay much attention to dissenting opinions. They do not serve as meaningful precedent, and they tend only to express the loser’s frustrated perspective. But Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Supreme...more

Four Myths of the Hobby Lobby Decision: Separating Fact from Fiction

Unless you have been living on another planet the past few weeks, you have probably heard that the United States Supreme Court rendered a decision in a case involving the arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby pertaining to...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2014

Editor's Overview - The end of the U.S. Supreme Court's term brought two significant ERISA decisions. The first concerns the standard of review that courts apply when evaluating ERISA stock-drop claims. As discussed...more

Religious Institutions Update

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that an existing contraceptive coverage mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act statute that applies to for-profit closely held corporations...more

Does “Hobby Lobby” Apply to My Family Business?

On Monday, June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled that “closely-held” for-profit companies could be exempt from the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requirement to offer birth control coverage to their employees. As...more

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: What Else the Hobby Lobby Decision means

Whether you are a friend or foe of the Hobby Lobby decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court this past Monday, citizens must know the very real and far-reaching consequences of the decision. This...more

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