The Supreme Court recently gave the parties in Zubik v. Burwell–the contraception case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor–an opportunity to further brief the case in order to find a compromise that would allow the government to attain its goal complete free contraception coverage without imposing a duty of complicity upon religious objectors.
The Wall Street Journal reports that effort appears to be going nowhere. From the story:
The Obama administration and religiously affiliated employers in a final round of legal briefs Wednesday moved no closer to a compromise for covering contraception in workers’ insurance plans, likely leaving it to the eight-member Supreme Court to settle the dispute.
The justices in an unusual step had requested supplemental briefs from both sides on a potential solution as they sought a way to avoid a potential 4-4 split following the February death of the court’s ninth justice, Antonin Scalia. The high court is reviewing a dispute over the 2010 health-care law requirement that employers provide birth-control coverage for workers.
Christian institutions whose teachings oppose some or all forms of contraception have challenged the requirement, and an alternative offered by the federal government they say is inadequate. On Wednesday, the federal government sent a strongly worded brief to the court that described the religious challengers’ proposal to the court last week as “unworkable” and “profoundly flawed.”
Of course. Under Obamacare, health insurance isn’t just about allowing greater access to a doctor. It is also about using that issue as a guise to impose ideological values on all of society.
Thus, Obama won’t compromise because contraception isn’t the ultimate point.
Rather, the legal principles the Obamacarians hope to establish in these cases would become the bases for allowing the government to legally order more societally controversial coverages imposed on religious and other conscientious objectors.
For example, if the legal principle is established that the government can force contraception coverage even on the adamantly religiously opposed as a matter effectuating the overarching governmental purpose of guaranteeing sex equality in the workplace, the next step–should Hillary Clinton be our next president, for example–will be mandatory free abortion coverage.
That can also lead to required coverage for gender dysphoria treatments–like sex change surgery–also now defined as a sex discrimination issue, and hence, recently ordered covered by Medicare.
We might also see mandated coverage of reproductive technologies for gays and lesbians under the same terms as coverage for heterosexual couples–currently the law in California for group health insurance.
Ditto, assisted suicide, should a sufficient number of states legalize that policy or the Supreme Court eventually impose a euthanasia Roe v. Wade, as Canada’s has done.
In other words, forcing the Little Nuns to pay for birth control is the opening play for greater attacks on religious liberty that will, if the government wins, be mounted eventually to force all employers, including those who religiously or philosophically object, to pay the costs of many of the political and cultural left’s most yearned for ideological agendas.