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Federal gov’t responds to order from Supreme Court Justice which blocked enforcement of birth control mandate in Obamacare

This news story was published on January 3, 2014.
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U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON – The federal government on Friday filed a brief in response to an order from a Supreme Court Justice who blocked the enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate for several religious groups

On December 31st, Justice Sonia Sotomayor ordered a delay in the enforcement of the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Several requests for the Supreme Court to delay enforcement of the contraceptive mandate were brought forward by Catholic groups who said that the birth control mandate violates their religious beliefs by forcing them to support contraception. Fines could be imposed if the law is not followed.

In the government’s brief, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. argued that the case should be heard first by appellate courts and that non-profits groups may be able to opt-out of the mandate, anyway.

“The regulations that govern this case provide a mechanism for eligible organizations to opt out of coverage, which for-profit corporations may not do,” Verrilli wrote in the brief. “And to the extent that the Court’s ultimate decision in those for-profit cases might inform analysis of the legal issues presented in religious non-profit cases like this one, the lower courts, not this Court, should have the first opportunity to consider the question.”

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