Supreme Court halts birth-control mandate for more groups

Supreme Court halts birth-control mandate for more groups
© Greg Nash

The Supreme Court is temporarily halting the enforcement of ObamaCare’s contraception mandate against several Catholic organizations in Pennsylvania.

In a ruling issued late Wednesday, Justice Samuel Alito said the mandate is “recalled” pending a response from the federal government.

Government officials have until Monday to brief the court.

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Under the birth-control mandate, companies and organizations are fined if they do not agree to cover at least some of the costs of their employee’s birth control. Churches and houses of worship are exempt, though the mandate covers religious hospitals, charities and universities, which are now fighting the law in court.

The Supreme Court has already issued four rulings instructing the government to exempt certain companies or organizations with a religious background — such as arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby — from the rule.

Justices will consider a similar case during a conference next week, which concerns Catholic charities from Tennessee and Michigan.

The court also gave hope to Catholic groups last month when it struck down a lower court’s ruling requiring the University of Notre Dame to follow the birth control mandate. That court will now revisit the case from the Roman Catholic university.