SCOTUS to take up HHS mandate cases

The Supreme Court of these United States will take up a couple cases concerning the Obama administration’s anti-religious HHS mandate.

Via Townhall:

BREAKING: Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to HHS Contraception Mandate

The Supreme Court agreed on noon Tuesday to hear a challenge to the controversial HHS contraception mandate. The mandate requires businesses to provide contraception to employees, even if their religious beliefs disagreed with contraception.

From the Associated Press:

The key issue is whether profit-making corporations can assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Nearly four years ago, the justices expanded the concept of corporate “personhood,” saying in the Citizens United case that corporations have the right to participate in the political process the same way that individuals do.

The administration wants the court to hear its appeal of the Denver-based federal appeals court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain that calls itself a “biblically founded business” and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance. The Green family, Hobby Lobby’s owners, also owns the Mardel Christian bookstore chain.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said corporations can be protected by the 1993 law in the same manner as individuals, and “that the contraceptive-coverage requirement substantially burdens Hobby Lobby and Mardel’s rights under” the law.

On November 1, a court ruled that requiring craft store chain Hobby Lobby to provide contraception violated the religious freedom of the owners.

The decision on this case is expected in June.

Maybe SCOTUS will call the mandate a “tax” rather than a violation of the 1st Amendment.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Fr_Sotelo says:

    So, so many prayers and Masses needed. This could go either way, but if it is decided in favor of religious liberty, this would be a groundbreaking precedent that affects laws throughout the US.

  2. Austin Catholics says:

    My prediction: SCOTUS will rule against the administration. This will produce some hysteria in a niche on the political left and become a rallying point for the Dems next November. It will thus be a political win for the Dems, but will only marginally boost voter turnout.

  3. Priam1184 says:

    Again, the religious liberty argument is unwise: even if SCOTUS gives us an opinion that we like then we have still acquiesced with nine justices being the final arbiter of everything. Not a good thing.

  4. mr205 says:

    The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is a strong law. I think the suit has a good chance in the Supreme Court. Pray, pray, pray about this. How ironic will it be if a bill introduced by Chuck Schumer, signed by President Clinton, and voted for by Senators Biden, Boxer, Feinstein, and Mikulski saves religious freedom in this country.

  5. Johnno says:

    A ‘tax’ that was illegally passed by pretending not to be a tax through improper means.

  6. Facta Non Verba says:

    According to the Becket Fund, of the 44 lawsuits filed by for profit businesses, the courts have granted an injunction in favor of the business and against the Obama administration in 32 cases; the courts have denied an injunction in just 6 cases. Injunctions were granted in the 7th, 8th, 10th, and DC circuits; injunctions denied in the 3rd and 6th circuits. Just looking at this empirically, I would say the odds favor Hobby Lobby (and, thus, all for profit businesses).

    Last week, a federal court in Pennsylvania ruled in favor of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, who challenged the HHS mandate and its so-called accommodation for non-profit entities. The opinion is 65 pages and very well written. Zubik v. Sebelius (w.d. Pa.). It is the first court ruling on non-profit entities and the accommodation.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Maybe the USCCB could call for a three day fast of all Catholics for this cause. There are Biblical precedences to stop the fall of a nation.

  8. MKR says:

    I assume the Supreme Court will rule in the Administration’s favor. I mean–why wouldn’t it?

  9. disco says:

    Corporations are people, but unborn children are not? Only in America

  10. Lin says:

    I prayed many prayers and rosaries that he would not be elected; that Scott Brown would block this evil legislation; that conservatives would win the Senate; that the Supreme Court would rule it unconstitutional; that he would not be re-elected; that people in the USA would wake up to this tyrannical take over of our economy, education, etc. Per the last Supreme Court ruling, the government has the power to tax us into ANY behavior that they see fit! I never had to pray for peace of mind like I do now! I know HE hears our prayers and we win! Many, many, many more prayers are needed!

  11. Johnno says:

    Lin –

    It may also be the case that God allows things to get worse for a greater goal. It is not up to us to always wish for comfort and protection. In your prayers pray ALSO for the strength to endure what may lie ahead that could be very unfavorable for us all. That’s of far more importance.

  12. Giuseppe says:

    I still do not understand how corporations in the US are people with individual rights. A corporation is a group of people united in a specific business purpose under the federal tax code. Corporations are founded by people (who have individual rights), invested by people (who have individual rights), employ people (who have individual rights), and who, in some way, service people (who have individual rights). Where in the US Constitution does it say that a corporation is a person with rights?

    Once a corporation codifies itself into existence, it is subject to a whole ‘nother set of rules and regulations. It is not a person. It has a voluntary existence and non-existence. It is composite and not individual. It is not God-created. Its rights are never inalienable.

    Don’t get me wrong. The Obamacare regulations on contraception and abortion coverage are ridiculous. But I do not understand how they are illegal. The US Constitution, man-made, is a flawed document. The US government, man-made, is a flawed entity. Laws are not moral truths, they are man-made and make distinctions which are consensus-driven, not truth-driven.

  13. The Cobbler says:

    Technical terms — a “legal person” is not the same as a person, any more than “work” in a physics problem is the same as employment.

  14. Lin says:

    Thanks, Johnno! You are so right!

  15. guans says:


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