Elsewhere online
March 10, 2015

Supreme Court Reinstates Notre Dame Contraception Suit

The Supreme Court on Monday revived the University of Notre Dame's lawsuit objecting to the Affordable Care Act's provision for birth-control coverage, throwing out a lower-court ruling against the Catholic institution, Reuters reports. The justices instructed the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its February 2014 decision in light of the high court's ruling four months later in the Hobby Lobby case, which allowed certain private companies to seek exemptions from the contraception mandate.

Notre Dame is among dozens of faith-affiliated nonprofits challenging the Obamacare requirement that their employees' health coverage include contraceptive care. The groups contend the rule infringes on their religious freedom by making them complicit in practices that violate their beliefs.

The legal landscape on the issue has shifted considerably in the past year with the Hobby Lobby ruling and the White House's implementation in August of a new workaround for faith groups. That standard, under which the federal government arranges contraceptive coverage at organizations that state in writing a religious objection to the mandate, has thus far been upheld by courts.