When faith-based charities come to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, they will once again be aiming their arguments squarely at Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, hoping to convince him that they deserve the same carve-out from Obamacare’s birth control rules that actual houses of worship enjoy.
Justice Kennedy was the key vote two years ago, when he joined four other Republican-appointed justices in holding that family-owned corporations that had religious objections couldn’t be forced to pay for their employees’ contraceptive health care coverage.
In a four-page opinion, he said the government had to offer a workaround so employees could get contraceptives without the costs landing on businesses.
Now, six years to the day after Obamacare became law, religiously affiliated charities are asking him to go further, saying the workaround he laid out for businesses isn’t good enough for nonprofits.
“I think there are some plausible and rational ways to approach this that would appeal to Kennedy,” said Robert Muise, senior counsel at the American Freedom Law Center and attorney for Priests for Life, a pro-life ministry that has sued the administration.