The Little Sisters of the Poor lost its Obamacare challenge before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 10th Circuit upheld the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that such non-profit religious organizations must provide employees with healthcare coverage including, contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices. Such religious non-profit organizations have the option of filling a form to notify the Department of Health and Human Services of the group’s religious objections.
Despite the legalization of nationwide same-sex marriage, religious conservatives are not going down without a fight. Concerns stem from the thousands of faith-based charities, colleges and hospitals that want to hire, fire, serve and set policy according to their religious beliefs, particularly that gay relationships are morally wrong.
After the recent opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, gay rights supporters have increased their efforts beyond same-sex marriage to an extensive drive to rewrite civil rights law and increase protections to other personal and financial actions.
According to Andrew McCarthy, the Supreme Court is a political branch, not a judicial one. McCarthy pointed to the phrase, “but this Court is not a legislature,” which was published by Chief Justice John Roberts in his same-sex marriage dissent. Then, 24 hours later, Roberts denied that the Court legislates, despite the fact that the Court rewrote the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.
In Davis v. Ayala, Justice Anthony Kennedy chose to take a detour from the merits of the case at hand to question the use of solitary confinement in prisons. The case concerned post conviction relief for Hector Ayala, an inmate convicted of a triple murder.
On June 15, 2015, the Supreme Court, without comment, declined to review a decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruling striking down North Carolina’s requirement that doctors take an ultrasound and describe the image to a woman before performing an abortion. The U.S. Court of Appeals found that the requirement violated the First Amendment rights of the doctor performing the procedure.
The Obama administration’s top healthcare officials are urging Congress and state officials to develop a solution if the Supreme Court stops the payment of health insurance subsidies to millions of Americans by ruling for the plaintiff in King v. Burwell. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, testified before the House Ways and Mean Committee that “[t]he critical decisions will sit with Congress and states and governors.” This sense of urgency for Congress and the states stems from the fact that according to Ms. Burwell and the White House, the Administration has no plan in place to react to the Court’s decision if it strikes down the subsidies.
President Obama declared Monday that King v. Burwell is “an easy case” and further stated that “[f]rankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.” Obama stressed that he expected the King case to result in a quick ruling, while emphasizing the importance of the Court “do[ing] what most legal scholars who’ve looked at this would expect them to do.” Obama argued that if the Court found contrary to "legal scholars," the Court would essentially level a monumental blow to millions relying on subsidized health care. One wonders what makes this case so easy and why does the President have so much confidence in this case?
In a USA Today article speculating about the possible retirement of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, CFJ’s Curt Levey notes that "an incredible amount rests on this next presidential election. The Supreme Court could take a dramatic turn in either direction."
George Will writing in the Washington Post points to the radical nature of Senate democrats' attempt to amend the Bill of Rights.