On Wednesday, American Supreme Court judges “heard, for an hour and a half, the arguments put forward by seven religious, non-profit-making associations, including the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the Little Sisters of the Poor Charity Organisation”, who requested to be excluded from contraception financing provided under the Obamacare law (see Return of Obamacare before the United States Supreme Court). The representative of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Paul Clément, claimed that the Government was “holding the plaintiff religious institutions hostage”.
This is the fourth time for the Supreme Court to examine this law. Judges are divided over the issue and Judge Anthony Kennedyseems to have become the High Court “arbitrator”“surrounded on one side by his three conservative colleagues, who support the institutions”. If they remain divided, “the decisions of the lower courts will apply”. To date, all of the Federal Appeal Courts “have delivered judgments in favour of the Obama Government”.
The Obamacare Law provides “exemptions for employers who object to the financing of contraceptives” by making it officially known. The costs are then covered by insurance companies and medical authorities. However, the religious institutions “believe that this approach involves them in an act which basically contravenes their values” (seeObamacare: religious institutions submit a request to the Supreme court). They are therefore “requesting total exclusion”, which the Supreme Court has already granted in previous cases.
The Court “will not make a decision before the end of June”.