Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The HHS Mandate at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court should hear challenges to the HHS contraceptive mandate next year.  I foresee three possible outcomes.

The mandate is entirely upheld.

I don't think this will happen.  If it does, the immediate results could be good.  The church may finally commit to full battle against the secular Leviathan.  This could be the defining moment for the modern American church.

The mandate is struck down as it relates to religious institutions but enforced against private businesses.

I think this the most likely outcome.  Forcing Catholic businessman to pay for contraceptive coverage violates freedom of conscience but not necessarily freedom of religion, and it is the latter that is protected by the First Amendment.  Once hospitals and schools are safe, many people may stop caring about the issue.  Apathy could sap what little energy the bishops have, and the battle may be largely abandoned, along with the laity who will now have to lose their businesses or cooperate with evil.

The mandate will be completely struck down.

I would be very surprised if this happens.  In cases like Employment Division v. Smith, the court has upheld government restrictions on private religious activity.  It seems unlikely that the court would break with precedent and protect the consciences of lay Catholics.


  1. I agree that the 2nd option may be most likely. But with even some non-Catholic businesses suing, #3 might come to pass as it should.
    But, sadly, as you pointed out should either of those 2 happen, rather than #1, the Bishops for the most part, will go back into not wanting to speak out as they should.

    Did you see this article about a judge that ordered the Obama administration to rewrite the rules to protect colleges like Belmont Abbey & Wheaton?

    1. I heard that the case was reinstated but I did not know about the religious liberty protection order. This is encouraging!