Whatever else its consequences, today’s Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act won’t affect the issues raised in the lawsuit recently filed by several religious institutions against the federal government, according to O. Carter Snead, professor of law and William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture.
According to Snead, the 5-4 decision, which upheld the minimum coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act while invalidating one aspect of the law relating to the expansion of the Medicaid program, leaves intact “the preventive services mandate, under which the administration has required virtually every employer in America, including the University of Notre Dame, to facilitate the provision of contraceptives (including drugs that the FDA has determined can function as abortifacients) and sterilizations to its employees, remains in place. Nothing today changes the posture or rationale of Notre Dame’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services. The Court was not asked to address — and thus did not address — those issues of religious liberty raised by Notre Dame, nor those of the dozens of other plaintiffs who filed suit around the country last month.”