Court declines to hear new contraception cases
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[April 01, 2014]
By Lawrence Hurley
— The U.S. Supreme Court on
Monday declined to take up preliminary appeals brought by Roman
Catholic groups that want an exemption from part of President Barack
Obama's healthcare law requiring employers to provide insurance that
The cases were brought by a series of Roman
Catholic-affiliated nonprofit groups based in Washington, D.C.,
including Catholic University.
The legal issue is different from one involving for-profit companies
that also object on religious grounds to the so-called contraception
mandate, which was argued before the high court last week.
The Supreme Court's decision not to hear the two cases at this stage
means that the federal appeals court in Washington will proceed to
decide the issue. If the groups lose, they would have another chance
to seek Supreme Court review.
The Obamacare law requires employers to provide health insurance
policies that cover preventive services for women, including
contraception and sterilization. The act makes an exception for
religious institutions such as houses of worship that mainly serve
and employ members of their own faith, but not for schools,
hospitals and charitable organizations that employ people of all
As a compromise, the administration agreed to an accommodation for
non-profits affiliated with religious entities that was finalized in
July 2013. But the various Catholic groups said the compromise
process still violated their religious rights, prompting a new wave
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Courts across the country have granted the groups injunctions
which prevent the administration from enforcing the mandate during
The cases are Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius
and Priests for Life v. U.S., U.S. Supreme Court, 13-891 and 13-829.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; editing by Howard Goller and James
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