NCLA states that in adopting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Pub. L. 111-148 (2010), Congress improperly delegated to the administrative state the power to write laws governing the conduct of health insurance providers. Administrative agencies responded to that delegation by adopting a contraceptive-coverage requirement Congress itself never enacted. Later concluding that the requirement substantially burdened the exercise of religion by some employers, those agencies expanded a religious exemption from the requirement.
While the agencies lack constitutional authority to exercise legislative power vested in Congress, NCLA urges reversal on the theory that administrative relief is at least as constitutionally appropriate as administrative constraint; they travel together.
NCLA is also concerned that administrative agencies—because they focus their attention on a narrow range of delegated tasks and are not directly answerable to voters—are far more likely than Congress itself to systematically undervalue the constitutionally protected religious liberties of Americans.
NCLA asks the Court to correct for that undervaluation when it addresses administrative-law issues.