BlackFacts Details

Supreme Court says Trump can weaken Obamacare contraceptive mandate - L.A. Focus Newspaper

The 7-2 ruling reverses a lower court decision that had blocked Trump's move nationwide. The ruling is a win for President Donald Trump, who has vowed to act aggressively to protect what he and other conservatives frame as religious liberty, as well as for the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic religious order for women who, along with the Trump administration, asked the court to step in. It came the same day the court also sided with religious schools in a different case, ruling that teachers at religious institutions aren't covered by employment discrimination laws. The White House called it a big win for religious freedom and freedom of conscience in a statement from press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Trump had complained in recent weeks when the court ruled against him on issues such as abortion, LGBTQ rights and the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. After Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberals in significant cases in recent weeks, he joined the conservative majority in Wednesday's two cases. The Little Sisters case required the justices to balance concerns for women's health care against claims of religious liberty. The law requires that employer-provided health insurance plans cover birth control as a preventive service at no cost. Wednesday's ruling means that by the government's own estimate, thousands of women will have to search elsewhere for coverage. Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion, wrote that the justices held that the government had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. He was joined in full by Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Thomas commended the Little Sisters of the Poor for their efforts. For the past seven years, they -- like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today's decision -- have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs, he wrote. Thomas continued, After two decisions from this Court and multiple failed regulatory attempts, the Federal Government has arrived at a solution that exempts the Little Sisters from the source of their complicity-based concerns -- the administratively imposed contraceptive mandate. Liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan agreed with the court's judgment but under different rationale. They said that the Trump administration had the authority to issue a rule expanding exemptions from the contraceptive mandate, but suggested that a lower court might still find that the government's rule was arbitrary and capricious. That issue remains open for the lower courts to address, Breyer wrote, opening up the possibility of future challenges -- though the rules can go into effect for now. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the Court's opinion, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Tod

Arts Facts