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Supreme Court hears contraceptive mandate case

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/07/20, 11:52 am

Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned whether the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can force employers—including religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor—to offer birth control under their insurance plans.

What did the justices say? When the Trump administration in 2017 announced a broader religious exemption to the contraceptive and abortifacient mandate, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, federal courts blocked the move, saying the White House overstepped its authority. But Justice Neil Gorsuch pointed out that President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare reform law gave HHS the power to enforce and allow exceptions to the mandate. “The challenge before us is whether the agency has exceeded its statutory authority,” he said. “And looking at the statute here, it’s about as … expansive a delegation of statutory authority as one might imagine.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who called in to the proceedings from the hospital, said allowing broad religious exemptions is unfair to women who may need to find other coverage for contraceptives or pay out of pocket, “precisely what Congress did not want to happen.”

Dig deeper: Read more background on the case in Liberties.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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  •  CaptTee's picture
    Posted: Thu, 05/07/2020 03:09 pm

    The so-called Affordable Care Act highlights the problem with Congress abdicatining its law making authority to the unelected Adminitrative State (in this case the HHS Department). Congressmen were told leading up to the vote on the so-called-ACA that it would not force anyone to pay for abortion or contraceptives. Yet, because of the power given to the Secretary of HHS, Nancy Pelosi was right when she said, "we have to pass the law to find what is in it."

    It is one kind of problem to pass a law with unintended consequences, but an entirely diffterent level of magnitude of a problem to pass laws with unlimited consquences based on legitimizing unlimited authority to make laws by deligating the power of Congress to an unelected cabinet member!

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Thu, 05/07/2020 03:52 pm

    Not to mention the fact that since these are really just policy proclamations from unelected bureaucrats and not laws passed by Congress, the policies / regulations can be easily changed with each incoming administration, thus adding to the confusion and incoherence.

    This is what a post-Constitutional Republic looks like.