Kennedy v. Kennedy

On the last day of August, Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found for March for Life in its suit against the Department of Health and Human Services, among other agencies.  March for Life is a secular, nonprofit organization, founded after Roe v. Wade, that opposes abortion in every form, including certain kinds of contraception, and organizes a pro-life march each January in Washington.  March’s legal counsel had argued that the federal government had treated it differently from “similarly situated employers” and had thus violated the principle of equal protection when it refused to exempt the organization from the contraceptive mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the ground that March for Life “is not religious and is not a church.”

Judge Leon claimed that Health and Human Services et al. had missed the point entirely: “The characteristic that warrants protection—an employment relationship based in part on a shared objection to abortifacients—is altogether separate from theism.  Stated differently, what H.H.S. claims to be protecting is religious beliefs, when it actually is protecting a moral philosophy about the sanctity of life.”  Thus, favoring religious groups in the matter is “regulatory favoritism,” since “moral philosophy” deserves...

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