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SCOTUS takes ACA ‘contraception mandate’ cases

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear two cases that could determine whether companies that provide health insurance to employees can be required under the new health care law to provide coverage for birth control.

Justices conferenced over several related cases and granted a writ of certiorari in Kathleen Sebelius, et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al., 13-354, and in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, 13-356. The cases will be heard in the spring.

Federal Circuit courts have split on the question of whether the mandate violates the religious liberties of company owners whose faith proscribes birth control.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals added to the division nationwide recently, when it ruled in favor of an Indiana company, Grote Industries of Madison, whose Roman Catholic owners objected to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employer-sponsored health insurance plans cover birth control.

Indiana University law professors said in a statement the cases will have far-reaching implications beyond the health care law commonly referred to as Obamacare.

“Nearly three dozen lawsuits have been filed by various businesses whose owners challenge the contraception mandate on religious grounds,” said Daniel Conkle, a law professor at the IU Maurer School of Law. “These cases raise fundamental questions about the scope of religious liberty, including the right of religious objectors to special legal accommodation, even in the commercial sphere.”

“There’s a dramatic split among the U.S. circuit courts regarding the contraceptive coverage provisions, represented by these two cases,” said IU Maurer School of Law professor Dawn Johnsen. “The Supreme Court has to resolve this split. I would expect that the court will be closely divided, and it’s very difficult to predict precisely how the justices will rule.”

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  1. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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