Supreme Court sends ‘contraceptive mandate’ cases back to lower courts

by Richard Wolf  |  published on May 17, 2016

The Supreme Court decided not to decide Monday whether religious objectors must play a role in offering contraceptive coverage to their employees, instead sending seven cases back to federal appeals courts in search of an elusive compromise.

The unanimous ruling appeared to be another example of the eight-member court’s inability to settle cases in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death and the impasse between President Obama and Senate Republicans over his replacement. It left both religious challengers and women’s rights groups warily predicting victory.

By sending a series of disputes over the Affordable Care Act’s so-called ‘contraceptive mandate’ back to lower courts, the justices all but assured that the issue will not get resolved before a new president is elected, which in turn could portend even greater changes for Obamacare.

“I won’t speculate as to why they punted, but my suspicion is that if we had nine Supreme Court justices instead of eight, there might have been a different outcome,” Obama told the web site BuzzFeed in a live-streamed interview.

  • justinwachin

    The government should not force any employer to provide contraceptives as part of health care. Part of the reason health insurance is so expensive is it has been expanded to cover a lot more than paying medical bills of sick people. If a woman wants to have sex the she or her partner(s) should pay for the contraceptives. If the man understands that he is facing 18 plus years of child support payments he may consider a few bucks for contraceptives to be a real bargain.

    If an employer does not want to cover birth control in their health plan that should be their right. Most would have no problem issuing a form telling their employees they are on their own when it comes to birth control.

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