Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Supreme Loss Brewing

I'm still not a professional lawyer, but I have to admit I don't see how the Obama Administration wins this Obamacare contraception mandate case heading for SCOTUS next spring.

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it would take up a challenge from religious non-profit groups -- including the Little Sisters of the Poor-- to the Affordable Care Act and the requirement that group health plans provide a full range of contraceptive coverage to women at no cost.

It will be the fourth time the Supreme Court has heard a challenge to the signature legislative achievement of the Obama administration, and the second case challenging the contraception mandate. In 2014, the court ruled in favor of closely held for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby that objected to providing certain contraceptives.

Arguments are expected to occur during the March sitting. A decision would likely come in June of next year, right in the middle of the presidential campaign.

The groups argue that the contraceptive mandate forces them to either violate their religious beliefs by providing "abortifacients and contraceptives" or pay ruinous fines. They say that a so-called "accommodation" offered by the Obama administration meant to respect their religious objections is not good enough because it still makes them complicit in providing the coverage.

It's the Kim Davis "but my name is still on the marriage certificate" argument, and given the ridiculous logic of Hobby Lobby last year, not only do I think Little Sisters will win a complete exemption, but it's entirely possible that five men on the Supreme Court will rule that the contraception mandate itself is a violation of employer rights, and has to be struck down for everyone.

I just don't have anything close to a good feeling about this case.  I'm not a law professor, but I know people, and people will find a way to do whatever they want to with laws.  This case was never about the law anyway, it's about people imposing their will on other people.

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