Third Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc in Corporate Free Exercise Case

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The vote was 7 to 5.

In light of the many problems with Judge Cowen’s opinion for the panel majority as well as the circuit split that is developing over the issue of corporate free exercise of religion (for constitutional and statutory purposes) and the dichotomous confusions that the issue is generating (religious vs. secular, for-profit vs. non-profit), it would not be surprising if one or more of these cases found their way to the Supreme Court relatively soon. On the other hand, these kinds of predictions have an uncanny way of being wrong.

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