The Supreme Court Monday ruled that the case challenging the Obamacare law’s contraceptive mandate should be sent back to the lower courts.
Obamacare requires all health insurance plans to include coverage of contraception, but the Obama administration allows religious nonprofits who object to the mandate to fill out an exemption form. A group of religious nonprofits, including the Little Sisters of the Poor, believe that filling out the exemption form is a burden to their religion and begins the process for staffers to get contraceptive coverage from outside their plans.
The Supreme Court declined to rule on the merits of the nonprofits’ lawsuit, known as Zubik v. Burwell, and urged lower courts to find an appropriate compromise.
“The parties may address other proposals along similar lines, avoiding repetition of discussion in prior briefing,” said the court’s order.
“We are very encouraged by the Court’s decision, which is an important win for the Little Sisters. The Court has recognized that the government changed its position,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead Becket attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor. “It is crucial that the Justices unanimously ordered the government not to impose these fines and indicated that the government doesn’t need any notice to figure out what should now be obvious—the Little Sisters respectfully object. There is still work to be done, but today’s decision indicates that we will ultimately prevail in court.”