Latest Obamacare Challenge Hits High Court: Nuns Take on Government’s “Contraceptive Mandate”


As Supreme Court watchers know, the Affordable Care Act faces attacks on many different fronts.

President Obama’s signature piece of legislation initially came under fire in NFIB v. Sebelius, which challenged the constitutionality of the entire act.

But in recent years, the legal challenges have focused on specific portions of the law.

Just last term, in King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court upheld billions of dollars in tax subsidies, defraying the cost of health insurance for millions of Americans.

And two terms ago, the high court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby said that family-owned corporations didn’t have to comply with the act’s controversial “contraceptive mandate.”

That mandate requires many employers to cover contraceptives in their health insurance.

The government has fashioned an “accommodation” for those with religious objections to some or all of those contraceptive methods. But that accommodation itself is now at the heart of 56 cases with 140 plaintiffs, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Religious nonprofits—like charities and universities—say that the accommodation still makes them complicit in the provision of these religiously objectionable contraceptives

Several petitions seeking Supreme Court review have now reached the justices.

In this two-part podcast series, the Becket Fund’s Hannah Smith explains these newest Obamacare challenges.

Here’s the first podcast. And the second. Enjoy!

Stay on top of Supreme Court developments with a free trial to United States Law Week.