The Supreme Court of United States, expressing no opinion on merits, has remanded back to Lower court, a challenge by Religious Employers against Federal regulations which required them to cover certain contraceptives as part of their health Insurance plans.
The Court said “The Court expresses no view on the merits of the cases. In particular, the Court does not decide whether petitioners’ religious exercise has been substantially burdened, whether the Government has a compelling interest, or whether the current regulations are the least restrictive means of serving that interest.”
However, the Court also added that the parties, viz. Religious employers and Government, should be afforded an opportunity to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates ….. religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by employer’s health plans “receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.
Concurring with the majority view, Justice Sotomayor in a separate opinion said “Today’s opinion does only what it says it does: “afford[s] an opportunity” for the parties and Courts of Appeals to reconsider the parties’ arguments in light of petitioners’ new articulation of their religious objection and the Government’s clarification about what the existing regulations accomplish, how they might be amended, and what such an amendment would sacrifice. Ante, at 4. As enlightened by the parties’ new submissions, the Courts of Appeals remain free to reach the same conclusion or a different one on each of the questions presented by these cases.”
Read the Judgment here.