The Corner

Catholic Charities Decision

I am not so sure that the California Supreme Court’s decision that Catholic Charities must comply with a state law requiring the inclusion of contraception in employer-provided health plans is all that outrageous. For years the Supreme Court has held, correctly in my view, that generally applicable laws that infringe on religious practice are nonetheless valid. If, as the California Supreme Court maintains, Catholic Charities does not fit into the statute’s narrowly drawn exemption for relgious institutions, I do not see why it should be unconstitutional to impose the same requirement on Catholic Charities that is imposed on every employer in the state. In other words, conservatives should direct their outrage at the California legislature, not the California courts.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.

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