Justice halts birth control mandate

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor has issued an order blocking the implementation of Obamacare’s requirement that employers–even those with religious objections–must provide their employees insurance that covers birth control and morning after pills.  The stay is temporary, but it’s an important development.

Some will be surprised that Justice Sotomayor made this move.  “Isn’t she one of the liberals?”  But liberal judges too can follow the Constitution.  Besides, I have never understood the connection between liberalism and supporting abortion.  Liberal rhetoric is all about helping the poor, the weak, and the marginalized, while ignoring the poorest, the weakest, and the most marginalized of all, namely, the infant in the womb.

I would think there would be many more pro-life liberals than there are.  It’s hard for me to take pro-abortion liberals seriously, given that massive inconsistency.From Justice delays health law’s birth control mandate – The Washington Post:

The Supreme Court has thrown a hitch into President Barack Obama’s new health care law by blocking a requirement that some religion-affiliated organizations provide health insurance that includes birth control.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor late Tuesday night decided to block implementation of the contraceptive coverage requirement, only hours before the law’s insurance coverage went into effect on New Year’s Day.

Her decision, which came after federal court filings by Catholic-affiliated groups from around the nation in hopes of delaying the requirements, throws a part of the president’s signature law into temporary disarray. At least one federal appeals court agreed with Sotomayor, issuing its own stay against part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The White House on Wednesday issued a statement saying that the administration is confident that its rules “strike the balance of providing women with free contraceptive coverage while preventing non-profit religious organizations with religious objections to contraceptive coverage from having to contract, arrange, pay, or refer for such coverage.”

Sotomayor acted on a request from an organization of Catholic nuns in Denver, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. Its request for an emergency stay had been denied earlier in the day by a federal appeals court.

The government is “temporarily enjoined from enforcing against applicants the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Sotomayor said in the order.

Sotomayor, who was in New York Tuesday night to lead the final 60-second countdown and push the ceremonial button to signal the descent of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball, gave government officials until 10 a.m. EST Friday to respond to her order. A decision on whether to make the temporary injunction permanent or dissolve it likely won’t be made before then.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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