Female justices dissent as Supreme Court lets Christian college opt out of birth control law
The Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that a Christian college in Illinois could temporarily abstain from following the reproductive health mandate under the Affordable Care Act, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
The majority decision, which was unsigned, cited the high court’s ruling earlier this week allowing for-profit companies to opt out of regulations “they deem offensive to their faith.”
As a result, Wheaton College will not have to fill out a form allowing third-party insurers to pick up the cost of birth control for their female employees, and would instead notify the government in writing that it could “facilitate the provision of full contraceptive coverage.”
The court’s three female justices, Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor said in a 16-page dissent that the decision was unncessary and went against the majority decision’s statement that Monday’s Hobby Lobby ruling was narrow in its focus.
“Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word,” said Sotomayor, who wrote the dissent. “Not so today.”
Ginsburg has already said that the Hobby Lobby ruling sent the court “into a minefield,” with the court subsequently ordering reviews of three similar cases involving businesses owned by Catholics.
The Hill reported that the decision came a day after the Justice Department petitioned the court to require Wheaton to fill out the form, technically known as EBSA Form 700.
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