A legal expert believes a Supreme Court decision this week shows just how bad the Obama administration's mandate for faith-based insurance coverage really is.
The University of Notre Dame sued the government over its last accommodation for religious organizations that don't want to provide coverage for contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs under the Affordable Care Act. The government established a rule to sign a form designating a third party to handle it, but that still requires religious organizations to violate their moral standards. The Supreme Court has overturned a lower-court ruling against Notre Dame.
Diana Verm, an attorney with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, summarizes the impact of the high court's decision.
"The government has been relying on Notre Dame's reasoning in its attempts to force other religious ministries to choose between violating their beliefs and paying millions of dollars in fines," Verm explains. "This is a message from the Supreme Court that the government should be looking into the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision and not at the arguments that have already lost."
Notre Dame signed the form under duress but has pursued the lawsuit so it won't be forced to violate its faith.
"This decision is another in a line of decisions that show how ridiculous the mandate is," Verm continues. "The government has plenty of ways to get contraceptives and abortifacients to people if they want them to have them – it doesn't have to force groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor and Notre Dame to violate their faith."
The next step is for Notre Dame to re-present their arguments to the lower court.