WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Nov. 26 to take up two cases that challenge provisions of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to provide contraceptive coverage on behalf of for-profit companies whose owners object to the mandate for religious reasons.
Probably in March, the court will take up the cases of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based, family-run arts-and-crafts chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania family-run company that makes cabinets.
The cases will be combined for the arguments. A decision is likely by late June.
PITTSBURGH — A federal judge Nov. 21 granted the Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses a preliminary injunction against the federal health care law's contraceptive mandate, saying religious employers' right to adhere to their moral objections to it outweighs a government decision to widen access to contraceptives.
Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik said that "all who recognize the importance of religious liberty should be very pleased" with the ruling by Judge Arthur J. Schwab of the U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania.
A Missouri state representative and his wife are seeking court protection as they appeal a decision in their suit in federal court against the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate, which requires health coverage of drugs, devices and procedures they and others find morally objectionable.
It's not a new concept, or a newly created term such as "selfie," the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013. A "selfie" is a term Oxford describes as a photograph taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
The declaration of the Word of the Year was a big sensation, covered extensively on NBC, PBS Newshour, the Guardian of London, Fox News, USA Today, the New York Times and many more media outlets
BALTIMORE -- In a "special message" released Nov. 13, the U.S. bishops reiterated their objections to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employee insurance include contraceptive coverage and said they remain "united in our resolve to resist this heavy burden and protect our religious freedom."
The message was released one day after the conclusion of the Nov. 11-12 public portion of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' fall general assembly in Baltimore. The bishops met in executive session Nov. 13.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis have refiled a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the legality of the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on health care insurance coverage the Church finds morally objectionable.
A statement from the archdiocese noted that the lawsuit was filed at this time because the U.S. government's implementation of the HHS mandate is approaching and no acceptable compromise respecting religious liberty has been offered.