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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. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

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