The Supreme Court on Monday sent a case dealing with religious exemptions in Obamacare contraception coverage back to lower courts in an attempt to get the sides to figure out a compromise.
“The parties on remand should be afforded an opportunity to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates petitioners’ religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by petitioners’ health plans “receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage….The Court expresses no view on the merits of the cases,” the justices wrote in their opinion,
The opinion was unsigned from the entire court. The Supreme Court asked for additional briefs just a few weeks ago.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor wrote a separate concurrence emphasizing they joined the opinion because it did not decide the case.
“Today’s opinion does only what it says it does: “afford[s] an opportunity” for the parties and Courts of Appeals to reconsider the parties’ arguments in light of petitioners’ new articulation of their religious objection and the Government’s clarification about what the existing regulations accomplish, how they might be amended, and what such an amendment would sacrifice,” they wrote.
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court appeared headed for a 4-4 tie after it heard arguments in one of the most contentious cases of the term.
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