Defense of Health Care Law Against Religious Objections, Liberty University v. Lew (amicus)

In 2010, Liberty University filed suit challenging the Affordable Care Act, arguing that the ACA was beyond Congress’s enumerated powers and that the statute violated its religious beliefs by requiring it to provide insurance coverage for medical services to which it objected.   A district court upheld the ACA, and the Fourth Circuit later ruled that federal courts had no jurisdiction to hear the case.  After the Supreme Court upheld the ACA as a lawful use of Congress’s taxing power, it remanded the Liberty University case to the Fourth Circuit for consideration of Liberty’s religious arguments.  On remand, Liberty argues that the ACA violates its rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring it to provide employees with comprehensive health care that includes coverage for contraception.  On April 11, 2013, we filed an amicus brief arguing that the ACA does not substantially burden Liberty’s free exercise of religion.  Oral argument took place on May 16, 2013.  Oral argument took place on May 16, 2013.  On July 11, 2013, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the contraception issue was not properly before the court because it had not been raised in the lower court.

Court Documents (click link to view .pdf)
Brief of amicus curiae - Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals


Rebecca Glenberg, ACLU of Virginia; Brigitte Amiri, Andrew Beck, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, Daniel Mach, ACLU Program on Religion and Belief

Date filed

April 11, 2013


U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit