Skip to comments.Court strikes down mandate for birth control in ObamaCare
Posted on 11/01/2013 10:25:55 AM PDT by jazusamo
A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.
Requiring companies to cover their employees contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.
The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a companys owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan, Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.
Legal analysts expect the Supreme Court to ultimately pick up an appeal on the birth-control requirement and make a final decision on its constitutionality.
In the meantime, Republicans in Congress have pushed for a conscience clause that would allow employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage for moral or religious reasons.
The measure emerged most recently during negotiations to fund the federal government. Some House Republicans wanted to include the conscience clause in a legislative package ending the government shutdown.
The split ruling against the government on Friday was the latest in a string of court cases challenging the healthcare laws mandate.
Fridays ruling centered on two Catholic brothers, Francis and Philip Gilardi, who own a 400-person produce company based in Ohio.
The brothers oppose contraception as part of their religion and challenged the Affordable Care Act provision requiring them to provide insurance that covers their employees' birth control.
Refusing to abide by the letter of the law, they said, would result in a $14 million fine.
They can either abide by the sacred tenets of their faith, pay a penalty of over $14 million, and cripple the companies they have spent a lifetime building, or they become complicit in a grave moral wrong, Brown wrote.
The Obama administration said that the requirement is necessary to protect womens right to decide whether and when to have children.
The judges were unconvinced, however, that forcing companies to cover contraception protected that right.
Brown wrote that it is clear the government has failed to demonstrate how such a right whether described as noninterference, privacy, or autonomy can extend to the compelled subsidization of a womans procreative practices.
She added that denying coverage of contraception would not undermine the Affordable Care Acts requirements that health insurance provide preventative care.
The Gilardis employees will still be covered for a series of counseling, screenings and tests, she noted.
The provision of these services even without the contraceptive mandate by and large fulfills the statutory command for insurers to provide gender-specific preventive care, she wrote. At the very least, the statutory scheme will not go to pieces.
The two other judges on the panel disagreed with parts of the ruling and said the rights of religious people do not extend to the companies they own. They also disputed that the Gilardis were unduly burdened by the coverage requirement.
Churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the ObamaCare mandate to cover contraception. People who work for religiously affiliated institutions can get birth control directly from their insurance companies.
This story was updated at 12:52 p.m.
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0bama and the Rats are really ticked at the D.C. Court of Appeals now!
Ironically this mandate helped Obama get elected.
He doesnt care about it now.
Sandra was quite distressed at the news...
Thank you Lord!
Other judges? This line appears to contradict the rest of the article.
Does this mean Hobby Lobby will stay in business?!?!?!?
And so, if abortion is “a constitutional right” because of some assumed “right of privacy” found by 5 judges, why is Obamacare REQUIRED to demand we load ALL of a person’s medical, financial, tax and gun ownership information into a single government database just to satisfy the government’s desire to control all health care information?
Congressional republicans can sit back and say they won't interfere and let the process work it's way through the courts. That's what progressives do to laws they don't like.
OscamOcare continues to take body blows from all directions... Without an opposition party to repeal it #RINOScum, it needs to be attacked from all directions...
Let’s see what happens when the suit to force the employer mandate is heard... Delicious!
Hang this argument and pending case around the necks of Dem pols running for office. I especially want to see that beech in Texas, Wendy Davis be forced to answer if she supports jamming this caropla down the throats of small businesses. Also nail it to that creep McAuliffe in Va.
Now we know why Obamma wants to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
ANY court ruling ANY aspect of Obama’s fascist law unconstitutional exposes the pirate Roberts and his illicit ruling to pass this abomination onto the American public. Any doubt about for whom Roberts works should now be settled. Little barry bastard boy’s regime own Roberts.
The only problem is an appeal to the SCROTUS. John Roberts cannot be trusted.
All Saints Day!!!
The two other judges on the panel disagreed with parts of the ruling and said the rights of religious people do not extend to the companies they own.
Other judges? This line appears to contradict the rest of the article.
It does. The article is unclear and poorly written—as happens frequently in modern “journalism”.
There being no severalbility clause, how is it the law can stand in whole.
It would have to be summarily struck down.
How is that pig Sandra Fluke going to stay unpregnant now?
Whats chief inJustice John RobsUS gonna do—call it a contraceptive tax? I’m betting that POS doesn’t fold this time around. How come Scalia didnt get the job of chief?
Another Bush SCOTUS screw up....
Exactly...The hand writing was on the wall when they shot him down on the NLRB illegal appointees and they’ll be a lot of cases coming up on 0care.
After the unanimous ruling by the court regarding who religous schools can hire, I have little doubt that the majority of the court (even the libs) will support this decision. You cannot remove a person’s consitutional rights from them by virtue of the fact that they own and run a private business.
Hey Dems, there goes the Julia vote...
An ocean liner takes time to do a 180 but it looks like OUR ship is slowly turning to the right despite the efforts of a Marxist captain to stop it.
I can’t remember the cases she’s ruled on but all the lib organizations call her an extreme right-winger, she’s my kind of judge. :-)
By switching teams?
A regime that no longer honors the Constitution can do anything they want to do, especially with the pirate Roberts soiling the high court bench.
Exactly whatever the people blackmailing him tell him to do.
Or he could man-up.
I agree but they all have seemed to ignore that fact. There was a lot of talk about that right after it was jammed down our throats but I haven’t heard a thing about it in some time.
I will be interested to see if Roberts upholds this court’s decision.
He is supposed to be a Catholic after all.
Contraceptives are cheap. There’s no reason the government has to buy them for you.
I don't believe she was involved in those rulings. Janice Rogers Brown is, however, the scumbag Democrats' worst nightmare. She is a black woman, and she is brilliant. And she is a conservative who takes the Constitution seriously. (Like I said, the scumbag rats' worst nightmare.)
The rats did everything in their power to stop her confirmation but she ended up getting confirmed following the "Gang of 14" negotiations back in 2006.
LOL! I hope she suffers apoplexy over this.
Hoy Lobby was on hold IIRC...this should filter down to them as good news!!
She might actually have to entertain the notion of abstinence.
The indignity of it all!
IIRC, there is no “severability” clause in the ACA... therefor by logic and reason, the ehtire law is unconstituitional... how does Roberts CJ save that?
Which insurance companies will now offer insurance without birth control coverage?
The White House will pressure them not to.
Three judge panel. At least two of them got to the same end, but perhaps via different routes.
Is birth control and abortion part of the law or part of a hhs rule permitted by the law? if the latter, then perhaps the rule can be ruled unconstitutional while not tripping the law and the severability clause... IANAL...
Women can choose to do whatever they want. Doesn't mean they should be subsdized by the employer.