Supreme Court hands a doubled-barreled win to religious liberty on schools, Obamacare mandate

SCOTUS rules that religious employers can opt out of Obamacare birth control mandate and religious organizations are exempt from civil court employment discrimination suits.

Updated: July 8, 2020 - 1:28pm

The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave President Trump and religious freedom a double win.

In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the court ruled 7-2 in favor of an administration regulation that allows religious employers to opt out of providing contraceptives to their employees.

In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Beru, the justices by the same 7-2 margin prohibited employment discrimination suits against religious organizations where the employee served a religious function. 

The Affordable Care Act stipulates that health insurance provided by employers must include birth control as a preventative service at no cost. The Trump administration sought to expand the moral and religious exemptions to that mandate. 

With today's ruling in Little Sisters, employers are free to opt out of the contraception mandate if they have a religious or moral objection. This is the third time the high court has ruled on the issue. 

In Our Lady of Guadalupe School, the court ruled that civil courts cannot be involved in employment discrimination suits brought against religious organizations where the employee served a religious function. The decision expands upon a ruling from 2012 in which the court held that religious organizations are granted a "ministerial exception" from employment discrimination lawsuits. 

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