Federal Judge: Moral Objections Enough to Override HHS Contraception Mandate

In a stunning decision, a federal judge permanently barred the Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing the contraception mandate under ObamaCare against an employer for moral rather than explicitly religious grounds. Judge Richard Leon, the same DC district court judge that ruled the NSA phone collection program unconstitutional (and was reversed last week), rebuked the federal government for violating the Equal Protection clause by only allowing religious groups a waiver for objections to contraception and other products and services. Ruling in favor of March for Life, Leon said that the 14th Amendment demands equal protection for similarly situated entities. If the moral objection is the same as the religious objection, HHS has to honor them both.

When HHS argued that March for Life wasn’t eligible for a waiver because it wasn’t a religious organization, Leon ruled that HHS missed the point: