Update: The Contraception Mandate at the Supreme Court
Since amici briefs were due to the Court on January 28th, the waiting game has begun. The opportunity to influence the justices came with the amici briefs, and will come again with oral argument on March 25th.
As these cases have the potential to change the way we interpret religious liberty and the right to make choices about and access health care, the “waiting game” has given rise to much writing, predicting and debate over these cases.
In anticipation of oral argument, it is important to remain up to speed on the arguments of the various sides, and other scholarly work on these issues:
- The Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Women of Reform Judaism joined an amicus brief on the side of the government.
- SCOTUSblog – an excellent resource on all things Supreme Court – has started a symposium on the contraception mandate.
- An amicus brief from Jewish groups who filed in support of the non-government parties.
- The National Women’s Law Center compiled a chart of all the amici filed on the side of the government. Learn about all the different groups who filed and their arguments.
At the very beginning of the year, the Court – specifically Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor – got involved in one of the contraception cases that addresses religious non-profits. Little Sisters of the Poor filed for a preliminary injunction asking they be excused from having to certify their objection to birth control and thus be accommodated under the mandate. The government argued that because their insurer is an exempt organization, Little Sisters is also exempt. The Court granted the injunction, but very clearly stated that the decision does not reflect the justices’ views on the legal questions in the case.
Thus, we wait. We read. We predict. We plan. But we will not have a better idea of how the justices are considering this case until March 25th and the decision from the Court will likely not come down until June. Keep checking back with RACblog for updates and resources as these cases progress.