The Supreme Court shockingly sent the controversial ‘contraceptive mandate’ cases back to the lower federal appeals courts. Women who work for religious non-profits now risk losing birth control coverage. Click through to learn why this happened!
Supreme Court justices were struggling to find a compromise on the cases filed religious non-profit groups challenging the federal law made contraceptives free to their female employees. The justices unanimously sent the cases back to lower federal appeals courts on May 16, attempting to find a way to make both the religious non-profits happy, and still get women working for them birth control coverage. It was a disappointed day in the Supreme Court!
“The court expresses no view on the merits of the cases,” the Supreme Court opinion stated. “In particular, the court does not decide whether petitioners’ religious exercise has been substantially burdened, whether the government has a compelling interest, or whether the current regulations are the least restrictive means of serving that interest.”
The conservative and liberal justices just could not agree on what to do about this mandate. Without the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the conservative justices couldn’t get the five votes necessary to pass a ruling. They said that the “government should not be able to ‘hijack’ the insurance plans of religious groups agains their moral beliefs,” according to USA Today.
In a 2014 ruling, the Supreme Court had ruled that for-profit corporations who objected to providing female employees free contraception could have their insurance give the women the benefits directly. But with these non-profit cases, the liberal justices argues that female employees shouldn’t have to pay for their own insurance policies just so they could get birth control!
Nuns have protested in Washington, DC over the contraceptive mandate, waiting for the ruling in their favor. Though they haven’t won their cases just yet, it appears to be a large step in their favor. All but one appeals court has upheld the government contraceptive mandate. But the 8th Circuit appeals court, ruled in favor of the non-profits. For the time being, non-profits in these states don’t have to provide contraceptive coverage: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked by the Supreme Court’s actions? Tell us in the comments!