Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Zubik v. Burwell. This case hits upon the issue of providing contraceptives through the Affordable Care Act.
As of right now, the ACA does not require religious non-profit organizations to provide contraceptive coverage. It allows for them to either fill out a government form or write a letter so the government can organize contraceptive coverage to be provided.
The plaintiffs in the case consists of about thirty religious organizations with the lead plaintiff being David Zubik, a Roman Catholic Bishop. The plaintiffs argue that although they are not directly providing contraceptive care, but their insurance plans are being used to provide that care. The plaintiffs claim that the government is placing a substantial burden on their religious practices.
Seven of the appeals courts have come to the conclusion that the law does not put a substantial burden on the religious organizations. They argue that the process is simple and straightforward. One appeals court argued that there was a substantial burden in the law. The court said that going through the accommodation process with monetary penalties provides a substantial burden on these organizations.
As of right now, the justices seem to be split. If the decision does end up splitting, the case either will have to be heard again when a ninth justice is selected or a split decision will be made, not setting precedent but upholding the decision of the appellate court.
Do you think that the ACA is providing a substantial burden on religious organizations?
Will this case further the heated debate over the nomination of another Supreme Court Justice?