The Baptist Joint Committee has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Zubik v. Burwell. The case involves religious organizations that object to the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, and argue that the government’s religious accommodation process is insufficient to protect their religious liberty under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
The BJC’s brief defends the religious accommodation at issue in this case and emphasizes the importance of the legal standard at the heart of RFRA.
Visit BJConline.org/Zubik for frequently asked questions and answers about this case. Here is an example:
Why did the BJC file a brief in this case, and what does it say?
The BJC filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case to explain how the far-reaching arguments made by these nonprofits can endanger religious liberty. Written by University of Virginia School of Law professor Douglas Laycock, a leading religious liberty scholar, the brief makes clear the importance of RFRA’s standard in creating exemptions to policies that substantially burden religion. It also points out that the government must have the ability to enact exemptions that apply to specific situations. The regulations in these cases do not substantially burden the free exercise of religion. The organizations have been wholly exempted from providing contraception themselves, and their objection is to the government’s efforts to deliver contraception separately through secular insurers. In other words, they aren’t taking “yes” for an answer.
The BJC files amicus briefs when its voice is needed to raise an important religious liberty principle in a case. As the leader of the coalition that fought for RFRA, the BJC continues to advocate for its use, allowing its carefully crafted language to balance competing claims that ensure religious liberty for all people.