President Obama’s health care law survived today as the court ruled that the individual mandate is tax, but the lawsuits against Obamacare’s contraception mandate are still pending.
“The Becket Fund’s religious liberty lawsuits against the unconstitutional HHS mandate will continue,” Hannah Smith, senior counsel at the Becket Fund, said in a statement after the ruling this morning. “Never in history has there been a mandate forcing individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine, a fine which could force many homeless shelters, charities, and religious institutions to shut their doors.”
Roman Catholic bishops and an array of Protestant churches have argued that the contraception mandate — which requires the insurance policy of religiously-affiliated organizations to provide free contraception — violates their religious freedom.
“[U]nless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so),” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in a January ruling.
Obama has attacked opposition to the mandate, paradoxically, as an unjust use of government authority. “This is a [Republican] party that says it prides itself on being rabidly anti-regulation,” Obama said in April. “These are folks who claim to believe in freedom from government interference and meddling. But it doesn’t seem to bother them when it comes to women’s health.”