San Diego Law Review


Sarah Kim

Library of Congress Authority File


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In an attempt to help mitigate the difficulties courts are experiencing with the Contraceptive Mandate, this Comment proposes a uniform factors test that courts can use in their equal protection analysis to define a deeply and sincerely held religious belief and determine whether religious and nonreligious organizations are similarly situated. To demonstrate the necessity of a uniform factor test, this Comment starts by providing the history of the Affordable Care Act and the Contraceptive Mandate and exploring the religious exemptions created in response to the Contraceptive Mandate in Part II. Part III elaborates the current circuit split on the issue by delivering an overview of how courts have struggled to apply an equal protection analysis for nonreligious organizations in Affordable Care Act cases, specifically delving into two cases. Part IV analyzes the equal protection issue and argues that the exclusion of a moral exemption for the Contraceptive Mandate violates the equal protection provision in the Fifth Amendment in light of three questions: (1) what is the difference between religious and nonreligious organizations; (2) what does it mean to be similarly situated; and (3) does the government have a rational basis in treating religion differently than nonreligion. Finally, Part V proposes a factor test that courts can use to help them identify a deeply and sincerely held belief.

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