The objection of both companies is based upon the owners' Christian belief that human life begins at conception.
Taking on a new constitutional dispute over the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear religious challenges to the requirement that employers provide health insurance for their workers that includes birth control and related medical services. The Court said it would decide constitutional issues, as well as claims under the Court mandated birth control Freedom Restoration Act.
The Court granted review of a government case Sebelius v. Taking the Conestoga plea brought before the Court the claim that both religious owners of a business and the business itself have religious freedom rights, based on both the First Amendment and RFRA. The Court also took on a new dispute over legal immunity for Secret Service agents when they take action while protecting the president Wood v.
And it added a case on the status in bankruptcy of an Individual Retirement Account that someone has inherited, rather than set up personally Clark v.
The Court did not expedite the briefing schedules for the new cases, so presumably they will be heard in March. Moreover, the Court has already released its argument schedule for all sittings through the February session.
This time, the Court will be focusing only on whether the pregnancy-related care coverage can be enforced against profit-making companies — or their individual owners, when that is a very small group — when the coverage contradicts privately held religious beliefs. It is already clear, of course, that individuals — whether they own businesses or not — do have religious beliefs that the government may not try to regulate.
The Court has never ruled on that issue, but that is one of the core issues it has now agreed to consider. In the government case — that is, the one involving the arts and crafts retailer, Hobby Lobby — the answer to questions about both the individual owners of a closely held business and the business itself as a separate entity arises under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
There is no doubt that the individual owners are persons. But the Court must decide whether the pregnancy-related insurance coverage does, in fact, put a burden on the individual owners, or whether any burden is on the business itself, rather than its owners.
By also agreeing to review the plea by a Pennsylvania company that makes wooden cabinets Conestoga Wood Specialtiesand its Mennonite family owners, the Court expanded considerably the scope of its review.
If it is not, that would imperil, but perhaps not destroy altogether, its First Amendment claim. The constitutional issue for the individual owners of a business starts with a question: But if the Court were to rule that the requirement is not generally applicable, because of a host of exemptions that are written into the law, then the individual owners would be able to press their claim that it intrudes unconstitutionally on the exercise of their religious principles.
Again, though, the underlying question would be whether it is the corporation, not its owners, that is the target of the coverage requirement.
The two cases will be heard together by the Court, with only one hour of argument set aside for the two. On one side will be the government, and on the other will be one or more attorneys for the two companies involved in the cases.
Initially, it will be up to the lawyers to sort out their roles and how they divide up the time at the hearing.The sisters’ attorney, Mark Rienzi, said during oral arguments in San Francisco that while birth control access could be mandated by states and the federal government, they ought to “figure.
State BIRTH CERTIFICATES - or- a 'certified copy of birth'? Is it possible to void and cancel a State issued "BIRTH CERTIFICATE" or "CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH"? In a case that reached the Supreme Court, justices ordered religious representatives to reach an agreement with the Obama administration, in which all female employees were still provided with birth control pills at no cost.
Excerpted from WASHINGTON TIMES: The Obama administration ordered employers Thursday to notify their workers if they plan to cut birth-control coverage from their health plans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” decision.
Other states have court ordered pharmaceutical birth control or tubal ligation/IUD ( year contraceptive) under certain circumstances, Michigan and several other states says it's unconstitutional. I am appalled at the fact that this country would put up with this.
The conservative base of the IL GOP may respond negatively to any impression their GOP candidate wants employer-mandated birth control. For conservatives, forcing employers to provide birth control would undermine or overrule the U.S.
Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision that protected employers' religious freedoms.