This is a Notre Dame specific case so this is not a huge national win. But it certainly rights a very curious wrong.
The Supreme Court on Monday threw out an appeals court decision that went against the University of Notre Dame over its religious objections to the Obamacare health law’s contraception requirement.This was one of the strangest cases in that the courts in Indiana had already granted temporary exemptions to certain institutions but refused to do so for Notre Dame. The state court seemed to questions the Catholic university's commitment to refusing to comply with the mandate. I mean, who didn't? Let's face it, Notre Dame said in their lawsuit that they couldn't provide contraceptive and abortifacient coverage but then they promptly did so after losing in the state courts.
The justices asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision in favor of the Obama administration in light of the June 2014 Supreme Court ruling that allowed closely held corporations to seek exemptions from the provision.
The court’s action means the February 2014 appeals court ruling that denied the South Bend, Indiana-based Roman Catholic university an injunction against the requirement has been wiped out.
One could (and should) criticize that decision. But good for Notre Dame for at least sticking with the case.
Now, it'll be interesting to see what the university does with their coverage because they have already agreed to provide contraception and abortifacient coverage. If the lower court grants the exemption which is the clear intent of the Supreme Court decision, will the Notre Dame administration revoke that coverage? That will likely get messy. If anyone thinks that battle on campus will be easy, you've got another thing coming.
Erin Stoyell-Mullholland of Notre Dame's student pro-life group, which is one of the best pro-life groups in the country, told CMR:
This is a very exciting decision for the University of Notre Dame. It's great to finally get a win in the court system. The administration will keep fighting the HHS mandate in the Court system and I am very hopeful that this decision by the Supreme Court means that the 7th Circuit Court will reverse the previous decision. It seems that the Supreme Court believes that Notre Dame should be able to get an exemption based on the Hobby Lobby decision and I look forward to continuing to watch how this plays out in court.