Issue: (1) Whether Congress has the authority under the Commerce Clause to force employers to buy or provide employees with government defined health insurance at a rate the government defines as affordable with no option to discontinue coverage without facing excessive punitive fines; (2) whether Congress has authority under the Taxing and Spending Clause to impose excessive punitive fines on employers enforced by the Departments of Treasury and Labor for failing or refusing to buy or provide government defined health insurance at a rate the government defines as affordable with no option to discontinue coverage without facing excessive punitive fines; (3) whether the Employer Mandate and its implementing regulations violate the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion Clause by forcing religious employers to buy or provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices to their employees despite their sincerely-held religious beliefs that prevent them from doing so; (4) whether the Individual Mandate violates the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion Clause by forcing certain individuals to make a monthly payment that directly funds abortion contrary to their sincerely-held religious beliefs that prevent them from doing so; and (5) whether the Fourth Circuit erred when it refused to review the Employer Mandate and its implementing regulations as they existed at the time of the Circuit Court’s review, which included regulatory definitions of preventive care services that Congress determined had to be provided as part of minimum essential health insurance coverage, which include, inter alia, that employers must buy or provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices to their employees.
The Court issued additional orders from the November 24 Conference on Monday. The Court also heard oral arguments in two cases on Monday morning. We expect opinions in argued cases tomorrow at 10 a.m., and the Court will hear oral arguments again on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. The hearing list for the December sitting is here. On Friday the Justices will meet for their December 4 Conference; our list of “petitions to watch” for that Conference is available here.
Zubik v. Burwell Does the availability of a regulatory method for nonprofit religious employers to comply with the HHS contraceptive mandate eliminate the substantial burden on religious exercise in violation of RFRA that the Court recognized in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.?
Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole Whether, when applying the “undue burden” standard of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the State’s interest in promoting health - or any other valid interest.
Evenwel v. Abbott Does the "one-person, one-vote" principle require states to use voter population, as opposed to total population, when drawing state legislative districts?
Hines v. Alldredge Whether restrictions on occupational speech are subject to First Amendment scrutiny, or only rational-basis review.
Paske v. Fitzgerald (1) Whether the rule in USPS Bd. of Governors v. Aikens applies to the evaluation of a discrimination claim at summary judgment; and (2) whether a plaintiff claiming discrimination is required to prove, as an element of a prima facie case, that he or she was treated less favorably than a “nearly identical” “similarly situated” individual who is not a member of the protected class, a Fifth Circuit requirement which courts have characterized as “stringent,” “strict,” and “demanding.”
Chief Justice John Roberts says, “‘History didn’t end in 1965.’ But, what he misses is that voter suppression didn’t end in 1965, either . . . . This particular part of the Voting Rights Act that he didn’t like, Section 5, it blocked 3000 discriminatory voting changes from 1965 to 2013.” In this excerpt from the four-part GOVERNINGWorks interview, Ari Berman […]
Awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.
Sigma Delta Chi
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi deadline reporting award for online coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
National Press Club Award
Awarded the National Press Club's Breaking News Award for coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
Silver Gavel Award
Awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the American Bar Association for fostering the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.
American Gavel Award
Awarded the American Gavel Award for Distinguished Reporting About the Judiciary to recognize the highest standards of reporting about courts and the justice system.
Awarded the Webby Award for excellence on the internet.