As expected, Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, and other businesses contesting the HHS Mandate, will have their day in the highest court in the land.
Robert Barnes of the Washington Post reports,
The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider a new challenge to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and decide whether employers with religious objections may refuse to provide their workers with mandated insurance coverage of contraceptives.
The cases accepted by the court offer complex questions about religious freedom and equality for female workers along with an issue the court has not yet confronted: whether secular, for-profit corporations are protected by the Constitution or federal statute from complying with a law because of their owners’ religious beliefs.
The justices accepted two cases that produced opposite results in lower courts.
One was brought by the owners of Hobby Lobby, an arts-and-crafts chain that its owner David Green said is run on biblical principles. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver said forcing the company to comply with the contraceptive mandate would violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
And the White House response? Jay Carney says,
The health care law puts women and families in control of their health care by covering vital preventive care, like cancer screenings and birth control, free of charge. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to consider a legal challenge to the health care law’s requirement that for-profit corporations include birth control coverage in insurance available to their employees. We believe this requirement is lawful and essential to women’s health and are confident the Supreme Court will agree.
We do not comment on specifics of a case pending before the Court. As a general matter, our policy is designed to ensure that health care decisions are made between a woman and her doctor. The President believes that no one, including the government or for-profit corporations, should be able to dictate those decisions to women. The Administration has already acted to ensure no church or similar religious institution will be forced to provide contraception coverage and has made a commonsense accommodation for non-profit religious organizations that object to contraception on religious grounds. These steps protect both women’s health and religious beliefs, and seek to ensure that women and families—not their bosses or corporate CEOs—can make personal health decisions based on their needs and their budgets.
This would be a good time to read yesterday’s decision that came out of Pennsylvania.