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2013-2014 McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court: Competition Problem

 

This year’s competition problem considers whether a for-profit corporation and/or its shareholders can seek relief from the contraceptive-coverage “Mandate” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act based on claims that it violates their rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

The competition case is Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 724 F.3d 377 (3d Cir. 2013). We are asking teams to assume that a petition for certiorari was granted in this case and it is now before the United States Supreme Court. We are also asking teams to assume that the parties have stipulated that the Hahn family's religious beliefs are sincerely held.

Please limit your arguments to the following questions presented:

1. Can a for-profit corporation assert claims under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment (“Free Exercise Clause”) and/or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”)?

2. Can the shareholders of a for-profit corporation assert claims that the Women's Preventive Health Care Regulations under the PPACA (the “Mandate”) violates their rights under the Free Exercise Clause and/or the RFRA?

3. Assuming that a for-profit corporation and its shareholders can assert First Amendment and/or RFRA claims, is there a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of the claims that the Mandate violates a for-profit corporation and its shareholders’ rights under the Free Exercise Clause and/or the RFRA?

You may rephrase these questions as long as the rephrasing does not change the essence of the issues posed. Any substantive or procedural issues that are discussed in the above-referenced decision or elsewhere, other than these questions presented are not pertinent to the competition problem.

The designated record for the competition case is limited to the facts contained in the following decisions and supplemental record:

1. Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 724 F.3d 377 (3d Cir. 2013).;

2. Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, 917 F.Supp.2d 394 (E.D. Pa. 2013); and

3. Appendix 1: A supplemental fact record, constituting the Joint Appendix of the Parties that will be uploaded into the private information for teams’ area of the website.

 
 

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